Kia Motors America has signed on for two more years as the sponsor for the National Basketball Association through its 2011-2012 season. Kia just inked a two-year extension of its sponsorship deal, which also expands Kia's sponsorship of the NBA to make the brand the official automotive partner of NBA All-Star events and the NBA Cares charity.
In a statement, Kia and the NBA said that Kia will also be the title sponsor of the NBA All-Star MVP award, awarded to the most valuable player during the league's all-star game. The financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
As part of the deal, Kia will have two two-hour NBA specials, termed Countdown to NBA Tipoff, which will be broadcast on ESPN in the run-up to the Oct. 26 start of the NBA's regular season. For the season, the NBA’s official vehicle will be the redesigned 2011 Kia Optima.
The 2011 Optima will be introduced through a new NBA-themed ad. In a statement, Michael Sprague, Kia's US marketing boss, said that in the past three years, its relationship with the NBA has “significantly raised awareness and consideration for the Kia brand” and allowed basketball fans throughout the country to see its vehicle lineup.
As part of the deal, the NBA's biggest end-of-season awards for individual players have been renamed.
According to the joint statement, the league's MVP, Most Improved Player, Sixth-Man of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards will now be known as the “Kia NBA Performance Awards.”