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2013 Kia Classic Moves To Aviara Golf Club In Carlsbad

kia (select to view enlarged photo)

The Arnold Palmer-Designed Course Will Play Host to the Tournament

-- Kia signs multi-year deal to act as title sponsor of the LPGA tournament

-- Aviara Golf Club is situated at the Park Hyatt Resort in Carlsbad, Calif.

IRVINE, CA--Dec. 19, 2012: Kia Motors America (KMA) and the LPGA today announced the fourth-annual Kia Classic will move in 2013 to Aviara Golf Club located at the Park Hyatt Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. The move comes with the announcement that KMA has signed a multi-year contract extension as title sponsor of the tournament. The 2013 Kia Classic, which will feature a 144-player field, will be played March 18-24.

"Kia is one of the fastest growing auto brands in the U.S.[1], and sports marketing initiatives such as our involvement with the LPGA have significantly raised awareness and consideration for the brand and our vehicles," said Michael Sprague executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With the success of the past three tournaments, we are pleased to continue as title sponsor for the Kia Classic and bring the tournament to the luxurious Aviara Golf Club in 2013."

The venue for the 2013 Kia Classic, Aviara Golf Club, which was named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the best resort golf courses in America and the No.1 golf resort in San Diego according to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, overlooks the beautiful Batiquitos Lagoon ecological reserve and is the only San Diego golf course designed by Arnold Palmer. Aviara features a memorable par-72 coastal layout that stretches 7,007 yards and is uniquely sculpted through rolling hillsides, native wildflowers and plenty of bunker and water challenges. The golf club is part of the AAA Five Diamond-rated Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, which features 329 guest rooms, four on-site restaurants, full-service spa, tennis courts, fitness facility and more.

"We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Kia for the Kia Classic," said LPGA Chief Marketing Officer Jon Podany. "Kia has been a terrific partner, and the Kia Classic is one of the core pillars of the opening of our domestic season on the West Coast. Kia has also done an outstanding job of integrating with the LPGA and activating behind the Kia Classic to make this tournament better every year. We look forward to many more years."

The 2013 Kia Classic sponsor exemption will be given to the winner of the UC Irvine Women's Golf Anteater Invitational presented by Kia, February 25-26 at the Santa Ana Country Club. This partnership will make the UC Irvine Women's Golf Anteater Invitational presented by Kia the only collegiate tournament in the country that will allow the winner to qualify for an LPGA event. Additionally, the Kia Classic will continue to host a hole-in-one giveaway contest for both the Pro-Am and the tournament with a 2013 Kia vehicle as the prize.

"The Kia Classic has established itself as one of the premier professional golf events, and we're honored to have the opportunity to host a field of the world's best female golfers," said Mark Stiebeling, General Manager for Park Hyatt Aviara Resort. "Our commitment to excellence will ensure that the players and fans alike are treated to a first-class experience on the golf course and throughout the resort."

In 2012, Taiwan native Yani Tseng, the No. 1 player on the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, won the third-annual Kia Classic at the La Costa Resort and Spa. In 2011, the Kia Classic was the stage for another breakout win as Germany's Sandra Gal became a Rolex-First Time Winner with her thrilling one-shot victory over eight-time LPGA Tour winner Jiyai Shin at Industry Hills Golf Club.

Kia's Southern California-based LPGA tournament complements its sports marketing activities in the U.S., including its partnership with two-time LPGA winner Michelle Wie, who is the brand's official golf ambassador. Kia is also the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA (National Basketball Association), and recently completed its inaugural campaign in the Pirelli World Challenge auto racing series.

[1] Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending November 2007 and November 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.