Kia is switching sports codes in New Zealand next year after signing up as the naming sponsor for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic netball team.
The ANZ Championship-winning team will now be known as the Kia Magic for the next three years.
Kia Motors has been a strong supporter of sports events in recent years, through the ASB Women's Classic, Heineken Men's Open and NZ Winter Games, but has reassessed its sponsorship involvements in New Zealand.
Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, says the opportunity to become involved in the country's leading female sport fits with the goals of the fastest-growing automotive company.
He adds: "We have been looking to lift our profile in a different way and the naming rights sponsorship of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic will help us to do that."
"As the Kia Magic, the team will provide us with consistent exposure during the ANZ Championship series and we are really looking forward to working with them and becoming involved in their campaign to retain their championship crown in 2013."
Among other things, the sponsorship will see Kia vehicles provided to the team, to assist with transportation around the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Region. And Mr McDonald says there will also be a strong Kia presence at each of the games played by the Kia Magic as it helps to drive support for coach Noeline Taurua and the team.
Kia Magic CEO Sheryl Dawson is absolutely delighted to have brought such a prestigious and progressive company like Kia Motors on board as the naming sponsor for the team.
"We certainly have the Power to Surprise as 2012 showed, and the link with Kia will be strong partnership," she says.
The sponsorship of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic is not the first netball involvement for Kia Motors in New Zealand as through its local dealers, Kia has also provided vehicles to the Southern Steel team since 2009.