Kia Motors America and LPGA Bring Women’s Professional Golf <br>Back to Los Angeles for First Time in Six Years


Kia Classic Will Be LPGA’s First U.S. Event Featuring Prize Money in 2011

  • Kia Classic will be first LPGA tournament hosted in Los Angeles since 2005
  • Kia Motors’ expanding sports marketing portfolio includes golf, NBA basketball and advertising in the Super Bowl

IRVINE, Calif., January 31, 2011 – Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, Kia Motors America (KMA) is proud to bring the excitement of women’s professional golf back to Los Angeles for the first time in six years as the title sponsor of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) Kia Classic. Hosted at the renowned Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms March 21 27, the Kia Classic will be the LPGA’s first U.S. event featuring prize money in 2011 and will be broadcast nationwide on Golf Channel. The tournament will feature the tour’s top-20 ranked players, including Michelle Wie, Kia Motors’ official golf ambassador and spokesperson. The second annual Kia Classic will draw a full field of 144 LPGA professionals competing for the tournament’s $1.7 million purse.

“On the heels of record sales and market share in 2010, Kia is focused on finding innovative ways to increase brand awareness and consideration, and high-profile sports marketing partnerships such as the Kia Classic are key elements of our strategy,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing communications, KMA. “The youthful, exciting spirit exhibited by partners like the LPGA and players such as Michelle Wie reflect the ‘exciting and enabling’ characteristics found within the Kia brand and our products. As a member of the Southern California community we are thrilled that the Kia Classic will bring the LPGA back to the Los Angeles area.”

“Kia’s presence in the U.S. market continues to grow, and we are excited to once again partner with this fast rising brand to bring LPGA golf back to the nation’s second largest market,” said Michael Whan, LPGA Commissioner. “Kia’s tremendous growth is a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence. This same high level of excellence is what drives the LPGA and its players, and the Kia Classic will bring some of the best golfers in the world to Los Angeles.”

The Kia Classic is one in a series of successful sports marketing sponsorships undertaken by Kia Motors. Later this week, the brand will return for its second year as a Super Bowl advertiser as part of a large-scale, multi-faceted marketing campaign to introduce the all-new 2011 Optima to consumers. In 2010, KMA expanded its partnership with professional basketball as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA,” also becoming the “Official Automotive Partner of NBA All-Star,” “Official Automotive Partner of NBA Cares,” and title partner of the “Kia NBA All-Star MVP Award.” In addition, Kia increased its commitment to existing NBA platforms supported previously as the presenting partner, becoming the title partner of Kia NBA Tip-Off and the Kia NBA Performance Awards.

The LPGA 2011 season opens February 17 in Thailand. Bringing the LPGA back to Los Angeles, the Kia Classic will be hosted at one of the oldest and most prestigious public courses on the West Coast at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms. Ticket information is available at, or by calling 1-888-SEE-LPGA.

About the Ladies Professional Golf Association

The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 1,700 members representing 28 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (TCP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The LPGA FUTURES Tour serves as the official developmental tour of the LPGA, consistently producing a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its exclusive cable home, Golf Channel, and on the web via:,,, and

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site For media information, including photography, visit

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