Page 5: Sponsorship
Sponsorship involves positioning and matching brands together. It develops a relationship that is both comfortable and positive for both businesses. Kia’s partnership with Surrey County Cricket Club was its first venture into cricket. Cricket is becoming an increasingly popular sport.
The T20 form of the game has helped the sport appeal to a larger audience. Sponsorship provides Kia with a presence beyond which many expect. It also provides Kia with a very high profile and famous site in the heart of London, ‘The Kia Oval’. The relationship has also involved branding, on-line marketing and shirt sponsorship.
Building brand awareness
Surrey County Cricket Club’s partnership with Kia will last for at least 5 years, from 2011 until 2015. This will allow Kia to reach a new audience. It will also help Kia to be viewed as a permanent player within the UK car market. This helps exhibit big brand behaviour. Kia is therefore demonstrating that it is a main player in the car market through high profile sponsorship deals. This reinforces the size and scale of the Kia brand.
Creating consumer engagement
Sponsorship is not simply an advertising message that engages with an audience at a particular time. It creates deeper engagement with Kia’s potential customers. It also provides a platform for other exciting events to take place. For example, sponsorship of T20 games at the Kia Oval enables a variety of other activities to take place such as the Kia Catch and promoting the Stick Cricket Game. With Kia Catch, any crowd member successfully catching a six can claim a £100 prize, courtesy of Kia. Stick Cricket is an online batting game which is available through both the Surrey County Cricket Club and Kia websites.