Look for the Kia logo dashing across France July 18th, 2009
By John Shim, Assistant Manager
Research & Development Planning Team
Encounter with Lampre-NGC Cycling Club in Korea
Summer’s finally here! ‘Tis the season to enjoy a wide range of sports and leisure activities.
(Although I do realize it’s winter or fall in the southern hemisphere.)
Today, I’d like to share an interesting story with you that can be traced back to Italy.
I’m a huge cycling fan. The weather in Korea is great for cycling from June to October. During this time, I often go for a ride after work or on the weekends. Sometimes I ride along the Han River, but I also venture further to cycle along the coast or up hills. Another favorite pastime is watching professional cycling teams, especially those in Europe, compete in races. Watching a race is as exciting as taking in a game of baseball, soccer or any other sport.
Another hobby of mine is collecting uniforms, bikes, water bottles and other merchandise of my favorite teams. As with other sports, famous cyclists have many supporters. Fans of the Korean soccer player Park Ji-sung may have bought a Manchester United shirt, while many Michael Jordan fans own a Chicago Bulls jersey.
Ahead of the summer cycling season, I purchased the uniform of the Italian Lampre-NGC cycling team via the Internet last month. Something in the uniform caught my attention.
It was the red logo of Kia Motors.
I was surprised and delighted by this uniform which came all the way from Europe.
The Kia logo was shining brightly on the right shoulder. A smile spread across my face as I put the shirt on and looked at myself in the mirror. The pleasure I felt was like meeting an old friend in an unfamiliar place. Kia had finally become a sponsor in cycling, my favorite sport. I realized once again that Kia’s reach is expanding to all corners of the world and to all fields.
The Kia Motors Italy became a sponsor of Lampre-NGC cycling team this year. That is why the Kia logo appears on the team uniform and the Kia cee’d Sporty Wagon is the team support car. Below is a photo of the Kia cee’d Sporty Wagon.
The white car body goes well with the blue and pink colors of Lampre. Don’t you agree?
A well known member of the Lampre-NGC team is Alessandro Ballan, winner of the 2008 UCI Road World Championships. He was also among the cyclists competing in the Tour de France, one of the world’s three major cycling races that opened a few days ago.
Ballan was sporting the Kia logo on his shoulder.
The last photo shows me wearing the Lampre-NGC team uniform and riding up Namsan Mountain in the heart of Seoul. I could feel the Kia spirit invigorating me. I felt confident enough to take on anything and was ready to start a new week with renewed energy. I recommend all of you to go out and cycle, or take part in any form of exercise. I’m sure you’ll feel rejuvenated after the workout.
Kia’s enthusiasm is very much alive and all around us.
You can feel it in your everyday surroundings.
From Kia’s Picanto or cee’d or even in a different realm such as cycling, the Kia logo is taking France by storm. In many ways, it represents the passion driving the tanned cyclists at Tour De France.
Let’s turn on our TV sets and look for the Kia logo gracing the shirts of extraordinary cyclists.
The energy and passion from France should give you a new boost.
Wishing you a wonderful and happy day! Carpe diem!