An estimated worldwide audience of 1.5 billion people watched at least some of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany last Sunday, compared to the one billion who watched the France 1998 World Cup Final.

Hyundai confirms its first sponsorship of the world’s biggest sporting event has had a significant impact on its brand. Some 17 million watched England’s untimely defeat against Brazil in the UK alone.

Consumers saw the Hyundai name as a refreshing, surprising new name amongst the traditionally expected ones of Coca-Cola and Budweiser on the signboards in all of the stadiums throughout the tournament.

The showing of the new Coupe advert during the tournament has also contributed to raising the profile of the developing Hyundai brand.

And, in a recent poll, carried out by OMD Snapshots and published in Marketing magazine, Hyundai was strongly recognised along with the bigger brand names as an official sponsor of the tournament.

Commenting on being the official automotive sponsor of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Jonathan Spence, Marketing Director of Hyundai Car (UK) Ltd, said: "The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events, and there can be few better events which stirred up as much excitement as the 2002 World Cup.

"We are delighted to have been involved and are already reviewing opportunities for the future. The launch of our new supermini, the Getz, later this year will provide us with a further opportunity to measure the success of our sponsorship.

"Football is the world’s number one sport. As one of the top tier sponsors of the World Cup, and being a world class brand, Hyundai was able to demonstrate that we are emerging as a serious mainstream competitor on the world market."

Hyundai supplied all the official vehicles used to transport players and organisers around the venues; including the Sonata, XG30 and Trajet.

In addition Dutch soccer legend Johann Cruyff was appointed Hyundai’s footballing ambassador, while World Cup 1966 hero Sir Geoff Hurst helped launch Hyundai (UK)’s World Cup activities.

Jonathan Spence added: "The World Cup has built upon success of Euro 2000 for us, and has brought the Hyundai name into new homes all over the world, helping spread the word of just how much the Hyundai range has changed and improved.

"The sponsorship has given us the unique opportunity to enhance the Hyundai brand image, build brand awareness and enable us to communicate to our customers. Whilst many UK customers were surprised we were a sponsor of the world’s premier football tournament, it provided us with the opportunity to make millions of customers more aware of the brand with its large, modern and exciting product range that offers real value for money."

Published : 08/07/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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