NBA Rookie Sensation Blake Griffin Soars in New Commercial for 2011 Kia Optima


Thirty-Second Spot Showcases Griffin’s Winning Dunk
from 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

  • Griffin thrilled the NBA All-Star crowd by flying over the hood of Kia’s midsize sedan
  • The all-new 2011 Optima is the Official Vehicle of the NBA

IRVINE, Calif, February 25, 2011 – With a gospel choir singing at midcourt and more than 18,000 basketball fans on their feet at Staples Center, Blake Griffin won Saturday’s 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk by doing something no other NBA player had done before: dunking over a car. As his teammate Baron Davis tossed an alley-oop pass through the sunroof of the all-new 2011 Kia Optima the Official Vehicle of the NBA Griffin flew over the six-foot wide hood of the midsize sedan for a powerful two-handed dunk to capture the Sprite Slam Dunk title.

A record television audience watched Griffin’s feat on TNT as 2011 NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm was the most watched in the event’s 26 year history. Footage of the dunk quickly spread online and Kia Motors America (KMA) will salute the rookie NBA All-Star’s accomplishment with a thirty-second television ad featuring Griffin soaring over the Optima.

“Blake Griffin’s incredible feat during NBA All-Star 2011 was anything but average and we are proud the all-new Kia Optima played a role in his Sprite Slam Dunk championship,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing communications, KMA. “Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and we are tremendous fans of the game of basketball. This new spot underscores the fact that the Optima is not your average midsize sedan and allows us to share the excitement of Griffin’s historic feat with our fellow fans.”

Kia’s thirty-second TV spot using footage of Griffin’s dunk from the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will debut today and be accompanied by additional print advertisements. Following Saturday’s contest, Griffin autographed the 2011 Kia Optima he dunked over and the sedan will be provided to one of Griffin’s charitable interests.

About the 2011 Kia Optima

Kia Motors’ stylish midsize sedan advances the brand’s design-led transformation with completely new and stunning design characteristics, highlighted by a dynamic and streamlined profile that conveys elegance and athletic confidence from every angle. The all-new Optima’s three new powertrains including the brand’s first-ever turbo and hybrid engines (available later this year) in the U.S. deliver a class leading combination of power1 and fuel economy2 while the sedan’s spacious cabin is outfitted with the latest technology features and luxury amenities. A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “Top Safety Pick,” the 2011 Optima is available in three trims, LX, EX and SX, with a starting MSRP of $18,9953.

The 2011 Optima has earned numerous awards and accolades including a Consumer Guide Automotive “Best Buy” designation and Edmunds’ InsideLine.comEditors’ Most Wantedsm” Award. The 2011 Optima also had the highest increase in car shopper consideration following the Los Angeles Auto Show according to

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

About Blake Griffin

Known throughout the NBA for his high flying style of play, Blake Griffin has emerged as one of the league’s brightest stars. He was recently named to his first NBA All-Star team and also became the first player to compete in the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge, All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star game. His clinching dunk over a 2011 Kia Optima secured his first Sprite Slam Dunk championship and provided the lasting image of the weekend.

Blake set a Clippers rookie record (and NBA season high) with 47 points in January. He ranks in the top 3 in the NBA for Double Doubles, Offensive, Defensive and Total rebounds. He is one of three players to be averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds and earlier this season had 27 straight contests where he recorded a Double Double. A rising star in Los Angeles and nationwide, Blake is also active off the court where his Dunking for Dollars initiative provides funds for the fight against childhood obesity.

To learn more about Blake Griffin’s accomplishments on and off the court please visit:


    1 Class claim based on comparison of 2010 and available 2011 midsize sedans with standard 4-cylinder engine as of February 2011. Max HP for non-turbo 2.4L GDI engine is 200 hp @ 6,300 rpm; max HP for Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) 2.4L GDI engine — the only non-turbo engine available in CA, CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT and WA — is 192 hp @ 6,300 rpm. Max HP for 2.0L Turbo GDI engine is 274 hp @ 6,000 rpm. Turbo engine available only on EX Turbo and SX.
    2 With LX manual transmission. MPG class claim based on comparison as of February 2011 of 2010 and available 2011 EPA city/hwy mpg estimates for midsize sedans with I4, nonhybrid engines. EPA estimates for 2011 Kia Optima LX 2.4L GDI engine w/MT are 24 mpg/city and 35 mpg/hwy; for LX 2.4L GDI engine with A/T, 24 mpg/city and 34 mpg/hwy; for 2.0L Turbo GDI engine 22 mpg/city and 34 mpg/hwy. Actual mileage may vary.
    3 Starting price is manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRPs exclude $695 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

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