Kia Canada Inc. and Whitecaps FC partner to help grow soccer in Canada

Kia named Official Automotive Partner

VANCOUVER, BC - Kia Canada Inc. and Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today a three-year partnership agreement to become the club's Official Automotive Partner and presenting sponsor of the Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series.

This new partnership builds on Kia's commitment to soccer in Canada, with the automobile manufacturer already involved in Major League Soccer through their partnership with Toronto FC. As a result of this new partnership, Whitecaps FC players, staff, and executives will use vehicles supplied by Kia. The automobile manufacturer will also sponsor TEAM 1410's "Keys to the Match" segment during each Whitecaps FC match broadcast.

“Kia Canada is delighted to partner with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC which is a natural extension to the Kia brand forming lasting partnerships with major global sporting events,” said Robert Staffieri, director of marketing Kia Canada Inc. “Kia recently extended the agreement as an official automotive partner with FIFA until 2022 and here in Canada we will continue to support our grassroots efforts with  youth soccer.”

The partnership also sees Kia become presenting sponsor of the Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series, which will now be known as the 'Whitecaps Women's Soccer Series presented by Kia'. The Series - which is also presented in partnership with the Girls Metro Soccer League (GMSL) - sees the Whitecaps FC women play their 2011 United Soccer Leagues W-League regular season home schedule at seven different communities throughout the province of British Columbia.

"This new partnership with Kia Motors Canada is another fantastic edition to our already impressive list of Founding Partners," said Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Paul Barber. "Kia and the Whitecaps are both committed to supporting the sport of soccer at the grassroots through to the global levels of the game. We couldn’t ask for a better partner to help us achieve success both on the pitch and in communities throughout British Columbia.”

With today's announcement, Kia became Whitecaps FC's fourth Founding Partner ahead of the club's inaugural season in Major League Soccer, which begins on Saturday, March 19 at Empire Field. Following last June’s announcement of Bell Canada as the club’s Premier Founding Partner, Kia joins BMO Bank of Montreal, EA SPORTS, and Budweiser to complete the club’s roster of Founding Partners.

About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver in early October. For additional information on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, visit whitecapsfc.com.

Kia Canada in 2011
Kia Motors is in the second year of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering world-class design, technology and safety that has significantly contributed to a record sales year in 2010 including Kia Canada completing the year as the third fastest growing automotive company in 2010. 2011 is a pivotal year for Kia Canada including four new launches and all-new powertrains in addition to the current breadth of its product portfolio. Kia Canada’s current industry-leading sales streak of 26 consecutive months of sales growth momentum, increased market share will be extended including brand elevation fuelled by continued design innovation, quality, value, safety features and with new technology such as UVO powered by Microsoft® infotainment system. Commencing with the launch of the all-new 2011 Kia Sportage SX CUV, the all-new 2011 Kia Optima mid-size sedan available in the spring of 2011 and the all-new Rio sub-compact later in 2011, these vehicles and the entire product portfolio will continue to resonate with Canadians.

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Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca)-- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte and Sorento through a network of 171 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 141 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia Motors Corporation continues to showcase the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.