Kia’s Sponsorship Is On The Ball

Kia, a sponsor of the Australian Open since 2002, has brought about an amazing marketing campaign which not only enhances spectator engagement and interaction with the Australian Open, but also builds awareness of Kia and its cars manufactured in South Korea.

Working in conjunction with MediaBrands mobile solutions agency Mnet, the app “Game On” was created to give users the chance to return the world’s fastest serve by Sam Groth, using their smartphone. Seven different advertisements were shown during the the Australian Open event which gave users the opportunity to return seven different serves. To return the serve, users were to hold on to their phone tightly and swing once Sam Groth made his serve on TV, to feel as though viewers were playing tennis against Sam Groth himself. Through the app, users were also able to review shots via replay, compete against Facebook friends, or complete quizzes to gain more entries in the competition to win a Kia Cerato.

“Kia’s partnership provides us massive reach to a passionate audience to promote our cars… such an innovative and technologically advanced idea matches perfectly with Kia’s core brand values.” Tony Barlow, Chief Operating Officer, Kia

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In order to portray Kia as an innovative and forward-thinking brand, the “Game On” app was made available on smart watches to allow users to return Sam Groth’s serve using other technology. This allowed Kia to demonstrate their abilities in taking advantage of the latest technologies in order to maximise brand engagement. In turn, Kia positioned themselves as unique knowing that not many apps are available on smart watches, especially apps developed in Australia.

“When you watch the tennis from home you can’t imagine the power of the players’ serves…chance to feel the pressure and react as the ball zips past. The app syncs with the on-screen serve using audio fingerprint triggers, and the accelerometer to determine the accuracy of the user’s swing…playable by anyone with an iPhone or Android smartphone.” Travis Johnson, CEO, Mnet

The campaign resulted in immense success with over 193,000 downloads of the “Game On” app last year. It also resulted in success for both the Australian Open and Kia. The tournament this year set out to be a more engaging and interactive event for spectators which has certainly been delivered through Kia’s campaign, allowing users to get a feel of what it’s like to return the world’s fastest serve in their own living room. Users will feel like they are involved and a part of the event rather than just a spectator and will therefore be more engaged and trigger more interest. Kia is the stand-out brand which benefits from the successful campaign, creating a technologically-savvy, innovative brand, and also building awareness of their great range of cars. Engaging with the app will also make users more likely to remember Kia as a brand and will create interest into their products.

Were you aware of Kia’s sponsorship? Did you have a crack at returning Sam Groth’s serve? Do you think it was a good campaign on Kia’s side? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.