DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 10, 2010 – The LPGA announces today that Kia Motors America will be title sponsor for the inaugural Kia Classic Presented by J Golf to take place March 22-28 in San Diego, California at the renowned La Costa Resort and Spa Golf Course. Marking the first LPGA Tour stop on U.S. soil and broadcast nationwide on Golf Channel, the Kia Classic Presented by J Golf will feature the top-20 ranked players and a full field of 144 LPGA professionals showcasing the best golfers in the world competing for a $1.7 million purse.
Kia's foray into professional golf follows its first-ever Super Bowl TV ad last Sunday and on-going status as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA (National Basketball Association).
“After our 15th consecutive year of increased market share in the U.S. and as one of only three automotive makers to see an overall sales increase in 2009, it is imperative we continue raising Kia brand awareness with high-profile strategic partnerships that fit with our core values,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing, KMA. “The youthful, exciting LPGA talent reflect our brand's and our vehicles' characteristics, and the image-conscious Southern California market is an ideal platform to showcase the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV, Forte compact sedan and Soul urban passenger vehicle.”
“You don't increase market share for 15 consecutive years like Kia Motors has accomplished unless you provide value, satisfy consumer demand, and adopt modern technologies and new designs,” said Mike Whan, LPGA Commissioner. “Kia is driven to be the best, and has showcased its brand worldwide. We at the LPGA aspire to the same achievements, and therefore we're thrilled to partner with Kia. We look forward to working with them to showcase the best women golfers in the world. ”
Anticipation for the Kia Classic Presented by J Golf continues to build as the LPGA 2010 season opens next week with the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand tournament. The Kia Classic Presented by J Golf marks the first time the venerable La Costa Resort and Spa has hosted the LPGA Tour. Tickets are available at www.lpgalacosta.com, or by calling 1-888-SEE-LPGA.