ESPN Inks Kia for Multimedia Promotion

Kia Motors America has crafted a multimedia deal with ESPN that draws on, uses an online sweepstakes, and employs the media company’s offline assets to drive traffic to the interactive elements.

The campaign, to promote the Spectra5 hatchback, is an example of the multimedia “surround sound” campaigns that some industry experts expect to flourish as media becomes more fragmented. Spending wasn’t disclosed.

“We jointly constructed a proposal in which the central hub of the promotion was a cobranded Web site,” explained Tim Chaney, director of marketing communications at Kia Motors America, “with the goal to leverage existing TV and print buys and leverage other ESPN media — radio, online, and in-store within ESPN Zone restaurants — to promote the Spectra5 and drive traffic to the site.”

The effort is aimed at reaching young urban males ages 21 to 29 who want the car to help them socialize with friends or engage in sporting activities, Chaney said.

The centerpiece of the promotion is the Kia Shootaround Challenge online trivia game on the cobranded site. Through ESPN’s array of off- and online media, contestants are urged to log on to and search for the Kia game. This will take them to the ESPN-created site, where they try to answer five basketball-related trivia questions before a 24-second clock goes off.

At the end of the eight-week promotion, the overall leader wins a trip to the set of ESPN’s “NBA Shootaround” and a tour of the ESPN studios. All players also get a chance to win a 2005 Kia Spectra5 and can opt in to receive emailed information about the vehicle.

The company is collecting email addresses and will monitor impression and reach metrics. It also hopes that, several months out, the promotion will influence Spectra5 sales. The vehicle, a five-door hatchback, is a fairly new product in the Kia lineup, having been introduced in limited production last year.

“It’s still rather limited in production and availability, but we look at it as a great image vehicle for Kia,” said Chaney. “It’s targeted to a whole new demo for us. We’re seeing a whole new group of people come into showrooms.”

Kia involved its media buying agencies, World Marketing Group and Carat USA, in putting together the deal with ESPN. At Kia, sponsorship and promotions manager Kathryn Cima handled the campaign.

The promotion runs through June 6.

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