Kia appoints M&C Saatchi S&E for tennis partnerships

29 Oct 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

Kia Motors has appointed M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment to lead the global marketing activation around its relationship with Rafael Nadal.

The agency was chosen after a competitive pitch process, and embarked on its first campaign for the brand during the coronavirus lockdown, when Kia and Nadal signed a new extension of their partnership, bringing the relationship beyond the 15-year mark. 

Entitled #GetRafaMoving, the campaign was aired from the Rafael Nadal Academy in his home in Spain, and aimed to allow fans to join in and vote in real-time, as well as ask the tennis star questions.

The second campaign, #TakeOn20, was designed to give fans an outlet for supporting Nadal as he aimed for a 20th Grand Slam title at the French Open. With limited fans in the stadium, Kia used its platform to give fans the chance to speak to the player himself on social media as well as in Paris through a series of fly posters and projections. 

Through the activation, Kia will also be donating to the Rafa Nadal Foundation to ensure future generations are supported as much as his fans support Rafa. 

“With their global brand-building expertise and creative ambition, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment is well suited to help take our 16-year partnership with Rafa to a new level of engagement with fans, despite the physical distancing challenges that persist around the world,” said Michael Choo, Head of Brand Experience, Kia Motors Corporation.

“We look forward to working closely together to bring Rafa’s inspiration to as many people as possible in fresh, innovative ways.”

Rich Barker, Co-Managing Director, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment added: “Kia has long been a company we have admired for their smart and effective investments in sport around the world. They truly understand the power of consumers passions to drive value for their brand. Rafa is one of the world’s sporting greats and we are thrilled to be building on the foundations of this incredible partnership.”

M&C Saatchi S&E says it is now working on a range of upcoming projects including activations around the Australian Open, where Kia has been a major partner since 2002.