LeBron James Endorses the Kia K900
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward and Hero-Turned-Nemesis-Turned-Hero-Again of Ohio LeBron James endorses the Kia K900 in a new ad (above), with more promos and TV spots set to follow. While this is certainly big news for the Korean automaker, it’s not an especially surprising development for the rest of us, since we suspected an endorsement deal was in the works a little over a month ago when King James tweeted this photo of himself driving around in a Kia K900 sedan.
Despite producing increasingly high-quality vehicles, Kia has been dealing with a serious brand perception problem for a while now. Clearly, signing LeBron James to fulfill the specially created role of “K900 Luxury Ambassador” is a move that the company – which was already the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA – hopes will class up its image.
“I was a Kia K900 driver and fan before we decided to become partners, so I’m really excited to be Kia’s first-ever luxury ambassador,” said LeBron (it’s true; he’s been a vocal Kia supporter his entire life since way back in August of this year!). “This partnership is about the power of great style and performance. Kia and the K900 are out to challenge conventional wisdom and show people how to think differently, and I can relate to that. For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am, and that’s what makes this one so special.”
Later this month when the NBA season gets underway, Kia will air the first television commercial in its new “Fit For A King” ad campaign (which may draw the ire of Honda, since it is very similar to its “Fit For A Hipster” Honda Fit campaign). James now joins fellow NBA star Blake Griffin, tennis champ Rafael Nadal, and L.P.G.A. golfer Michelle Wie as one of Kia’s high-profile athlete ambassadors.
“As fans of the game of basketball, we were honored to learn that one of today’s most influential athletes and tastemakers recognized something different was going on at Kia and wanted to check out our new flagship sedan,” said Tim Chaney, vice president of Kia Motors America’s marketing communications. “Like Kia, LeBron James does not want to be confined by conventions or traditional definitions, and as our K900 Luxury Ambassador his star power will cause people to question everything they think they know about our brand.”