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The Southeastern Conference (SEC) Signs Kia Motors America as Official Corporate Sponsor; Names Kia Sorento As Official Vehicle

Oct 27, 2011

ATLANTA (October 27, 2011) - The Southeastern Conference (SEC) today announced an agreement with Kia Motors America (KMA), as an official corporate sponsor of the SEC and all SEC Championship events. Additionally, the Kia Sorento CUV will serve as Official Vehicle of the SEC.

The relationship, which was negotiated through SEC Sports Marketing, an IMG College property, will run through July 2014. Atlanta-based agencies Initiative Media and MELT also assisted in the deal.

As a sponsor of the SEC, KMA will receive category exclusive use of conference logos, marketing rights, SEC television and web presence, event signage, and merchandise. KMA also will have the opportunity for a category exclusive presence at the Dr Pepper SEC FanFare during the Conference's annual men's basketball tournament and football championship weekend. These two events, held in conjunction with the respective SEC Championships, draw more than 60,000 SEC fans each year.

"We are pleased to have Kia Motors join our SEC Corporate Sponsor family," said Mike Slive, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference. "Kia is a strong, international company, a big believer in sports marketing and shares the SEC's commitment to supporting academics and athletics. We are confident in Kia's ability to make a positive impact on our fans and anticipate a long and mutually beneficial relationship."

"Kia Motors will benefit from reaching a large number of fans through SEC media, events, and merchandising, as well as at the Dr. Pepper SEC FanFare," said Ben May, General Manager, IMG-SEC Sports Marketing. "Kia's commitment to college athletics is exemplary, and we look forward to working with this great brand to bring the very best to SEC fans throughout the country."

With a total fan base of more than 173 million fans, 77 million of which are female fans who influence buying decisions, the college sports market is a an ideal platform for companies like Kia Motors.

"College sports fans are passionate about their favorite teams; Kia shares that passion," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "Partnering with the SEC was a natural fit, not only as a platform to increase awareness, perception and consideration of the Kia brand, but also as a way to engage with a region that is home to our U.S. manufacturing facility and more than 10,000 team members and suppliers who work in the area, as well as our southern region office and hundreds of Kia dealers."

Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facilities, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), started production of Kia Motors' best-selling Sorento CUV in November 2009 and added the award-winning Kia Optima midsize sedan to its production line in September of this year. KMMG employs three shifts for a total of more than 3,000 team members, with another 7,500 supplier personnel working on site and nearby. Headed by Percy Vaughn, KMA's southern region offices are located in Atlanta.

About IMG College
IMG College is the nation's leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company representing more than 200 of the nation's top collegiate properties including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College is the leader in capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, licensing, events and hospitality, marketing, stadium and arena development, stadium seating solutions, ticketing, sales, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming on the largest sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications, and is the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit

About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)
The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists of 12 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions championship play in nine men's sports and 11 women's sports. Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1948. For more on the conference, visit

About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 745 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website - For media information, including photography, visit