Pro basketball star Blake Griffin, of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, has signed on to a multiyear deal to be a global spokesman for Kia Motors America. Griffin jumped over a Kia Optima as part of his winning dunk during the NBA Slam Dunk Contest last February.
This stunt became a highly effective marketing triumph for Kia, resulting to the creation of more commercials for the brand. Millions have watched the videos of the jam on YouTube.
Kia’s sales in the U.S. from January to May have grown by 45% to 200,060 units compared to the same period last year. It has a 3.8% share of the U.S. market through May compared with 3.0% in first five months of 2010.
These figures make it one of the fastest-growing brands in the industry. Last May, sales rose by 53% from May 2010 to 48,212 units.
In a statement, Michael Sprague, Kia's vice president of marketing, said that as Kia's U.S. market share is at an all-time high and increasing quickly, the company is more focused than ever.
He believes that signing on Blake Griffin as a global spokesperson will enable it to continue its momentum. Kia said that Griffin will be seen in Kia advertising campaigns and will be representing the brand in public appearances, promotions as well as other marketing efforts.