Welcome to the Australian open! February 24th, 2011
Hello again, everyone!
My last posting was already three months ago when I was preparing for the Australian Open and I’ve once again realized how fast time flies! Kia Motors was the Major Sponsor of the Australian Open for the 10th consecutive year this year. Australian Open 2011 came to a close on January 30 putting an end to two weeks of excitement. This year was one of the most successful years of our sponsorship – in almost everything!
Kia Motors was able to leverage the Australian Open to run a global marketing program in Australia, which linked the promotions in countries across the globe. Among them I conducted the Experience Kia! Program, where reporters were invited for a trial ride, and the Kia Amateur Australian Open (KAAO) World Final, a festival for amateur tennis players.
As many of you may know, Kia is also a supporter of the FIFA World CupTM and the ripples of that event reach wider and louder than most other events in the world. For Kia, as an exclusive major sponsor of the Australian Open, managing and running sports marketing events is the best part of my job! Also, I can say with pride that my experience in operating local events in South Africa during the last FIFA World CupTM tournament enabled me to run the events more efficiently and satisfactorily for the Open.
This is Garden Square. It is the main square of Melbourne Park, the venue of the Australian Open. Families and couples visited the square and enjoyed the matches on the large electronic display. It was quite impressive!
At the Kia booth, located in one corner of Garden Square, the all-new Optima and Sorento were on display and we hosted a free face painting event for visitors. From there, we also were able to run the Fan of the Day event, where the most energetic fan was selected everyday and received great prizes.
The pictures above are of the Rod Laver Arena, the main stadium of the Australian Open, and the Hisense Arena. Melbourne Park has the Rod Laver Arena, the Hisense Arena and more than 20 outdoor courts.
The Grand Slam Oval, located between the Rod Laver Arena and the Hisense Arena inside Melbourne Park, is an area where individual sponsors operate their own booths and promote their brands and products. Befitting a sponsor in the automotive industry, Kia provided a car racing video game, and had the all-new Optima and Cerato Koup on display. In particular, we installed a large amplifier in the trunk of Cerato Koup. It played loud music to further emphasize the dynamic design and atmosphere of Cerato Koup, and played a big role in bringing the visitors to the Kia booth.
At several locations in Melbourne Park a variety of Kia cars were on display. As the Major Sponsor, Kia brand and products were exposed to a greater extent than those of other sponsors. As a Kia employee, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and pride in people experiencing our brand first hand.
It is no exaggeration to say that the Kia logo was seen everywhere in Melbourne Park and the Rod Laver Arena – it was everywhere, except the sky! If you noticed, the “KIA MOTORS” writing underneath the Kia oval is now gone, and the oval logo was enlarged for enhanced visibility. The brand exposure of Kia was greatly improved. I had a chance to talk with a sports channel cameraman. He said that the Kia logo was exposed so much that they had a friendly bet for who can capture the most Kia logos!
This is the Kooyong Tennis Club, the venue of the elimination matches for the KAAO World Final. In the past the Australian Open was sometimes held right here, not Melbourne Park. It is a historical Tennis Club. One thing that distinguishes this club is that it is a grass court, not a hard or clay court.
The final match of the KAAO World Final was played in the Rod Laver Arena, the main stadium of the Australian Open, on the early morning of January 29. Before the match the amateur tennis players from around the world posed for group and commemorative photos. They were very excited that they had a chance to set foot on the court of the main stadium. The finalists had an once-in-a-lifetime experience to play in the Rod Laver Arena.
The men’s final, which I watched together with the KAAO participants, was an exciting match befitting their reputation as the best players in the world. Before the awards ceremony, Vice President & CEO of Kia Motors, Mr. Thomas Oh, gave a congratulatory speech. Watching him deliver his speech, I reconfirmed my dream that someday I would represent Kia Motors and give a speech at a world-class tournament like the Australian Open.
Based on the positive partnership we have with the Australian Open, I look forward to our continued support of the Grand Slam tournament and deploying a bigger marketing strategy across the globe next year on behalf of Kia Motors. If Kia Motors’ marketing enhances the brand awareness of the Australian Open, I believe, that will double the effect of our sponsorship of the Australian Open in the long-term.
To ensure that our activities at next year’s Open are better than this year’s, I will do my best to give tennis and Kia fans more than they’ve come to expect. Raise your hopes high, and pay attention to Kia Motors’ marketing initiatives in relation to our sponsorship of the Australian Open around the world!