Bengaluru FC and Kia Motors Ink Record Sponsorship Deal in Indian Football
When Bengaluru FC played their first Indian Super League game of the new season at the Kanteerava Stadium last weekend, there was something different. Their blue shirt, which has always had the JSW logo on the front for the past five years, was missing.
Club CEO Parth Jindal tweeted that it was a "bitter-sweet moment" because the club was in talks with a new sponsor to replace the JSW logo on the front of the shirt. That new principal sponsor was announced today in Bengaluru.
Kia Motors has signed a four-year partnership with Bengaluru FC as they look to break into the Indian market. The Seoul-based company that produces 3 million vehicles a year in five countries has identified India as their next destination to expand their market.
"This is the biggest sponsor that the league has got and the league will get for a very long time." - Bengaluru FC CEO Parth Jindal
Kia Motors is not new to sponsorships in the sports sector. Their portfolio includes the Australian Open and LPGA. In football, their sponsorships extend to the UEFA Europa League and they were recently involved in the 2018 World Cup where they selected two kids from India to be the FIFA Official Match Ball Carrier.
"I would not have allowed JSW's logo to be removed from the jersey if we didn't have the right partner," Bengaluru FC CEO Parth Jindal said. "Who better than Kia - one of the leading auto companies in the world.
"Their involvement with football runs deep," he continued. "For seven years, they were the principal sponsors of Atletico Madrid as well. Kia Motors selected us and that is truly a moment of pride - not just for Indian football - it validates everything that Bengaluru FC have done for the last five years."
"They are also using this as a platform to launch themselves in the Indian market." Kia has already laid the groundwork for a plant in Andhra Pradesh and they expect to start sales in 2019.
Kookhyun Shim, CEO & Managing Director of Kia Motors, said: "We at Kia are passionate about sports as we are about our world-class cars. As we extend this legacy to India, we aim to foster and inspire youngsters in the country to become a part of the global sports community.
"We are proud to associate with one of the most consistently successful teams in the ISL - Bengaluru FC - and we look forward to an excellent season." - Kia CEO Kookhyun Shim
Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh, and midfielder Erik Paartalu were on hand to unveil the new jersey with the Kia logo. The Blues will wear the new kit for the first time on 7 October when they take on Jamshedpur FC at The Fortress.