The Rising Stars of European Football August 17th, 2009
By Brandon Lee, Innocean World Wide (Sports Marketing Team)
Kia Motors has been one of the six EUROTOP Partners that support UEFA for the successful staging of European football tournaments and other European National Tournaments. After UEFA EURO 2008 and Futsal Championship in 2007, Kia, once again, participated in the UEFA Under-21 Championship Sweden 2009 from Jun. 15th to Jun. 29th as the Official Automotive Partner to offer dependable transportation services to players, officials, media and VIPs.
Since starting its first tournament in 1978, the championship has discovered and celebrated some of Europe’s leading football talents including Luis Figo and Fabio Cannavaro. That’s why fans around the world tune in every year to spot the next-generation of football stars.
It was the first major international football tournament that Kia Motors participated in full scale as the Official Automotive Partner of UEFA EURO 2008, and it has left a lasting impression on not only the host countries but on all European football fans attending the matches. Kia Motors wanted to continue its commitment for the European football by supporting UEFA U-21 Championship in Sweden with continued enthusiasm. . As an employee of Innocen, the master agency of Kia Motors, this was really another big success in football campaign in Europe that I really wanted to witness directly.
Kia Official Match Ball Carrier
The Kia Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) was Kia’s sole and exclusive marketing program in children were selected to present the official ball to the referee before the kick-off at every match of UEFA EURO 2008. Kia Motors implemented this program throughout Europe for the UEFA EURO 2008, and received high interest by participants and media. Consequently, the program proved to be very effective in raising Kia’s profile as the championship’s official partner and football supporter.
For the UEFA U-21 Championship, Kia Sweden implemented the program in Sweden throughout various channels and, once again, completed the program successfully. At the group round match between England and Finland held at Halmstad, a youngster chosen as the Kia OMBC said he was very excited and nervous about being part of a match with players he admired. His father who had traveled two hours from Gotenburg to Halmstad with his son said he was very happy that his boy had been selected for an event he had seen at UEFA EURO 2008. The father said he hoped his son would grow up to become a leading football player. He then added another wish that his second son would be chosen as a Kia OMBC at EURO 2012.
Kia Soul & Heja Sverige (Go Sweden!)
In order to promote the sponsorship of the tournament, Kia Sweden held diverse promotional activities at the UEFA official fan zone during the championship.
In every Swedish National Team match, fanatical supporters dressed up in Viking gear gathered at the central square in town and proceeded towards the stadium to show their die-hard supports for their national team, invoking the image of Vikings going to battle. Keeping pace with them on their march was the Kia Soul, wrapped in the national flag of Sweden to lead their way to victory.
Citizens and spectators watching the procession looked at the wrapped Soul with great interest. Once the car arrived near the stadium, fans welcome the Soul as a leader of the supporting group and took photos with the car and cheered on their national team.
Kia also organized a lucky draw to mark Midsommar, one of the most important holidays in Sweden. Spectators who came to stadiums with their families had a great time enjoying the games and had a chance to win one of two Souls up for grabs (see here http://kia-buzz.com/?p=1655 ).
Kia in European Football
For two weeks, the quiet and subdued image of Sweden was challenged with the presence of passionate football fans in four cities. The championship showcased a new generation of potential football stars and finally came to an end with Germany’s win.
During the championship, various Kia models like the cee’d, Sorento, Sportage, Soul and Carnival were spotted around stadiums and around the cities as official vehicles. The Kia brand that was exposed on stadium A-boards, outside ads and various other mediums enhancing Kia’s image as a company that perfectly complements the young and dynamic nature of the championship. It was an event that showed an upgraded profile of Kia as an official sponsor. For existing Kia drivers, it instilled a new sense of pride in their vehicles. Without a doubt, the continuation of such marketing activities will further strengthen Kia Motors’ brand awareness.