Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., has today announced that they are to be the lead sponsor of Surrey County Cricket Club and The Oval cricket ground.

Kia has signed a five year deal, and will have full and exclusive naming rights to the historic ground and become the primary shirt sponsor for Surrey County Cricket Club. The deal is worth over £3.5m to the Club over its duration.

Kia - part of the third biggest auto group in the world - takes over from Brit Insurance as the Club and ground's primary partner. As well as the ground naming rights and the firm's logo on Surrey shirts, Kia will also have a number of hospitality and promotional benefits throughout the season. The deal will come into force on January 1st 2011, from whence the ground will be known as the Kia Oval.

The deal is Kia's first entrance into the cricket market; the company currently has worldwide commercial partnerships with the FIFA World Cup and Australian Tennis Open. Further to this, it employs current world number one Rafael Nadal as a brand ambassador and is also the Official Automotive Partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States, sponsoring thirteen individual teams.

Speaking about the deal Paul Sheldon, Chief Executive of Surrey County Cricket Club, said: "To sign a deal with a leading International brand such as Kia is a fantastic boost to the Club.

"It is also hugely beneficial to us that we have been able to agree a five year deal as this allows us to plan for the future - both financially and on the field - with certainty. I have great confidence that our partnership has a long and strong future ahead of it.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Brit Insurance, which had been our lead sponsor since 2004. Throughout this time they have been a great support and I am delighted they are still a major supporter of our sport."

Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., Managing Director Michael Cole said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to put our brand right at the heart of England's favourite Summer sport and in front of an enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable audience.

"We are delighted to be linked with such an iconic location as The Oval - it is rightly famous around the world - and as our UK headquarters are in Weybridge it is a privilege to be so closely linked with Surrey County Cricket Club."

Published : 02/12/10 Author : Staff

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