Hyundai Touts Luxury Cars At PGA Champs

Hyundai has had title sponsorship of the PGA Tournament of Champions (the Hyundai Tournament of Champions officially) since 2011, and last fall extended the partnership with the Maui, Hawaii event for another two years. In this year's tournament, which just finished on Monday, 30 players from last year's PGA roster battled it out over the weekend, with the event covered by NBC and The Golf Channel. The program is part of the automaker's larger sports stake that includes advertising on the Super Bowl since 2008, sponsorship of NCAA football, and of the FIFA World Cup.

Hyundai Motor America, whose agency of record is Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Innocean U.S.A., will have two ads in the Super Bowl next month and is also busy on the college front with individual marketing programs for 25 NCAA teams. Last year, the company had a grassroots "Hyundai Fieldhouse" experiential element at games, plus a partnership with Yahoo, and title sponsorship of the Hyundai Sun Bowl.



The automaker is using the PGA relationship to showcase its range of vehicles. In Maui, players had access to the Equus, the Genesis sedan and Santa Fe, per the company. The winner of the tourney will get the Equus sedan to drive for a year. Hyundai also had the Santa Fe Sport crossover, the Azera sedan, the Sonata Hybrid, Genesis Coupe and the 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell car on site in Maui. 

Hyundai is touting the Tucson Fuel Cell as the first federally certified hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for retail consumers, and plans to begin offering a handful of the vehicles for lease in Southern California this spring. The ticket is $499 per month for 36 months. But the lease includes unlimited free hydrogen refueling (assuming you can find the hydrogen) and "At Your Service Valet Maintenance."

Hyundai Motor America's VP marketing Steve Shannon said in a statement that the PGA program is intended to put the spotlight on Hyundai's up-market vehicles, the Equus and Genesis, both of which benefit from new versions and redesigns. Hyundai did cause marketing around the tournament both with Maui and Hawaii organizations and to benefit its Hope on Wheels program for pediatric cancer research. 

Hyundai sold 63,005 vehicles last month -- its best December in history and the first in which it broke the 60,000 mark.

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