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Kia Canada bets on sports and entertainment

Company expands Toronto FC soccer connection and partners on music with Live Nation Entertainment

Published: May 31, 2012, 10:00 AM

Soccer - TFC at BMO Field

Kia Canada announced this week that it has acquired the naming rights to the Toronto FC (TFC) soccer team's Training Ground and TFC's Academy.

It followed up that announcement with another proclaiming a marketing partnership agreement with Live Nation Entertainment, which includes the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto and the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.

With this newly formed alignment, Kia will be the exclusive automotive partner for all Live Nation Canada music events taking place at two of North America’s premium concert venues.

Music will be a key foundation to Kia Canada’s partnership portfolio in addition to cultural events and sports, the company said in a statement.

With respect to the TFC connection, the Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy, is said to comprise a state-of-the-art facility and soccer program that will help develop the next generation of Canadian players through coaching, training, technology, equipment and support.

Located on 14 acres of land at Downsview Park, the Kia Training Ground represents a $20 million investment made by Toronto FC and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in the future of Canadian soccer.

"The Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy strongly continue Kia’s global commitment to soccer and take aim at the grass roots developmental stages of youth soccer athletes," said Maria Soklis, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Kia Canada Inc.

"Being the automotive soccer brand globally, this new partnership continues our goal to become synonymous with the growth and development of soccer throughout Canada," she added.

Kia Canada has a long-standing partnership as the official automotive partner of Toronto FC, which started in the club's inception year 2007, as well as with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Kia has built a strong reputation for its support of soccer at all levels across the world. It is the official Automotive Partner of the FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012.

Concerning the Live Nation partnership, Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing Kia Canada, said: "Music has an immense cultural draw, and Live Nation concert services support all genres of music giving a wide breadth of unique listeners and show attendees that make us thrilled to partner with Live Nation Canada."

Kia Canada will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre and Commodore Ballroom, two of North America’s premier concert venues.

The sponsorship will also feature Kia on the livenation.com and ticketmaser.ca websites, providing key information for Canadian concert goers from every aspect of the event experience. Whether they are looking at upcoming shows, purchasing tickets, or attending the event, Kia will be a proud supporter throughout.

Live Nation Entertainment comprises four market entities: Ticketmaster.com, Live Nation Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation Network.

There's no question that these connections will get the Kia brand name in front of huge audiences, particularly in the youth demographic. The question then becomes, will all that investment sell any cars?