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SBD/February 21, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Blake Griffin's Dunk Over A Kia Took More Than A Month To Put Together
Published February 21, 2011
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FLAWLESS IN PRACTICE: Griffin rehearsed the dunk on the Staples Center court Thursday night after an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” "During this whole process we wanted this to be fun, not like an obligation," said Messler. "Blake did two or three and they were all flawless, so that was it." Added McGhee, "He jumped over the car so easily at the rehearsal that there was some talk, not necessarily serious talk, of him jumping over the roof." As presenting sponsor of Sunday's All-Star Game telecast, Kia scrambled to produce a TV ad including the dunk for the game, but ultimately there was not enough time. However, a TV ad is still in the works. "We haven't started to calculate the media value of this yet, but you just know it is something that will endure," McGhee said. Griffin signed the steering wheel of the car yesterday during a Jam Session appearance and the vehicle will be auctioned off for a yet-unnamed charity.
GRIFFIN IN DEMAND: Griffin’s marketing prowess is now soaring higher than the flight path above the Kia. Subway debuted a national TV ad with Griffin last week, and Griffin also has deals with Nike and PowerBar. After that? "Obviously, we are talking to Kia about a longer-term relationship," said Messler. "Overall, he's someone that's beginning to transcend basketball and we are looking for few other long-term partnerships that make sense. Especially in season, there's not a lot of time. But the interest on him over the last few months -- this just brought it up a level or two."
TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT US: For Kia, which took national stage on a building where rival Toyota is a huge sponsor, the hope is that the Griffin dunk makes consumers take a different look at the brand. The tagline is "The Power to Surprise," and “we think we have surprised people now," said IMG Consulting Vice President Shawn Morrissey. Given the attention that the dunk has attracted, there have been quite a few comments to the effect that no NBA player would drive a Kia. Not the point, says Morrissey. "We present Kia as fans of the game, and if it gets them in consumers' consideration set now, then we're doing our job," he added.