Kia Nails Second Arena Naming Rights Deal

Kia America is partnering with the city of Orlando to sponsor its sports facility, the home of the Orlando Magic. 

Starting today, the Amway Center will be renamed the Kia Center. Besides the NBA, the facility has hosted major national events, concerts and family shows since its opening in fall 2010.

The deal includes new indoor and outdoor signage, the installations of EV charging stations, Kia vehicle displays and the Kia Terrace, a hospitality lounge for automotive enthusiasts and sports and music fans. 

It coincides with the launch of the automotive industry’s first mainstream 3-row, all-electric SUV — the Kia EV9, says Russell Wager, Kia America vice president of marketing. 

“We are definitely committed to the partnership of not only the NBA, but the teams that we partner with,” Wager tells Marketing Daily. “And we now have 15 teams across the country, and Orlando is one of our longest-running ones. We're always looking for ways to expand our partnerships.”



The National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic and Kia America have partnered for more than 15 years.

Kia also becomes a “Champion of the Community” partner with the NBA team programs to positively impact the Central Florida community, he says. 

The naming of the Kia Center will provide the automaker a year-round sports and entertainment platform, Wager adds. 

Like the renaming of the Kia Center in Orlando, the renaming of the Kia Forum in Los Angeles in April 2022 was a transformational step for Kia in the United States.

It was part of the North American debut of Kia’s electric utility vehicle, the EV6, as part of the company’s Plan S, or Plan Shift, strategy. Plan S is designed to help transform Kia into a sustainable mobility provider.

“We were looking for something that potentially could be on the East Coast so that we literally could have a coast-to-coast presence,” Wager says. “This kind of opportunity doesn't come up very often.”  

The deal has been in the works for a little more than a year, he says. 

Kia’s Southeast operation includes dealerships in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Central Florida has 11 dealerships and is the fastest growing Kia market in the nation. 

“It’s got some of our highest market share, our highest year over year sales growth,” Wager says. “More than 10% of our cars we sell [in the United States] are in the state of Florida.”

The naming rights deal with the Kia Forum in California has been a good fit for Kia, he says.

“It's one thing when somebody says, ‘hey, I'll give you my information, send me something,’ right?” he says. “It's another thing when they turn into a lead.  A lead to us is ‘have a dealer call me.’ In other words, give them my information and more than 70% of our hand raisers are also leads.”

Next story loading loading..