More than 6.7 million Australians regularly or occasionally watch the Australian Open on TV, and luckily for lead sponsor KIA, almost a million of them intend to buy a new car this year, according to Roy Morgan.
The South Korean carmaker is recognised by one in seven Australians as a sponsor of the Australian Open, making it the runaway winner of brand associations from the Grand Slam.
Of Australians who watch the Australian Open, 40.8% associate KIA with the tennis – more than three times the number who associated next-ranked brands Nike and Adidas. And of all Australians 14 years or older, 14.5% make the connection.
In Roy Morgan’s estimate, that means KIA is getting a fair bit out of the sponsorship, which media reports estimate is costing it a total $10 million a year in cash and cars until 2018.
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Roy Morgan Automotive group account director Jordan Pakes says it can be hard to directly compare the value of sponsoring the Australian Open with something like sponsoring the AFL, which lasts nine months of the year. But KIA’s association with the event suggests they’ve done “a pretty good job”.
“When Ford used to sponsor the Open, they were the exclusive sponsor. So there used to be Ford sponsorship all around. Kia, however, shares sponsorship with brands like ANZ and Jacob’s Creek. Kia has quite high levels of recognition despite this shared sponsorship – they were three times more recognised than the next recognised brand.”
Of Australians who intend to purchase a KIA, the association jumps up to 73.8%.
Pakes says this is unsurprising. “We find as brands get more relevant to consumers, they notice what they’re doing more,” he says.