Kia Classic moves to Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms as LPGA returns to Los Angeles area for first time since 2005
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Sept. 18, 2010 - The LPGA today announced that Kia Motors America (KMA) has signed a two-year extension to its title sponsorship of the Kia Classic. Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms in the City of Industry, Calif. will host the second-year event in 2011, marking the LPGA's return to the Los Angeles area for the first time since 2005. Last year's site for the inaugural Kia Classic, La Costa Resort & Spa, was unable to continue as host due to an extensive golf course renovation planned for 2011. The tournament, which will feature a 144-player field, will be played March 21-27.
Kia's sponsorship of the Southern California-based tournament complements its sports marketing activities in the U.S., including its partnership with two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie, who is the brand's official golf ambassador. Kia is also the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA (National Basketball Association), and recently completed its inaugural U.S. motorsports campaign in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series.
"High-profile sports marketing initiatives have become a core element of our marketing strategy, and the increased exposure and enhanced brand awareness the inaugural Kia Classic tournament provided made it an easy decision to extend our relationship with the LPGA and return as the title sponsor," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing and communications, KMA. "We are pleased to once again bring the fun and excitement of world-class competition, including Michelle Wie and all of the talented LPGA players, to golf fans in Southern California."
"Year after year, Kia continues to increase its market share in the U.S. with its value and transformative design," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "Like Kia, our players have 'The Power to Surprise' both on and off the golf course. We are extremely happy to renew our partnership with Kia and look forward to bringing the best female professional golfers in the world back to the Los Angeles market."
The tournament will mark the return of the LPGA to Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms following the 1981 and 1982 Olympic Gold Classic. The 72-hole event will be played on a combination of the Dwight D. Eisenhower (The Ike) and Babe Didrikson Zaharias (The Babe) courses. These championship courses were recently honored with awards from the National Golf Course Owners Association, "2010 Best In The USA" and Southland Golf Magazine's "2010 Best Course Of The Year" in Southern California.
Tickets for the event are now on-sale at www.KiaClassic.com. Access to the tournament course is complimentary on Monday and Tuesday of tournament week, while Wednesday Pro-Am tickets are available for $10 advance purchase/$15 at the gate. Weekly grounds tickets provide the best value at $50 advance purchase/$55 gate, while Individual Competition Day tickets are available for $20 advance purchase/$25 gate.