10/20/11 ID: 3839

Professional Basketball Player Takes It to the Next Level

  • 30-second spot featuring Griffin makes its television debut today
  • "Time to Shine" is first of five campaign spots and includes broadcast, digital and social media elements

  • IRVINE, Calif., October 20, 2011 - When basketball All-Star Blake Griffin dunked over a Kia Optima during the 2011 NBA Sprite® All-Star Slam Dunk contest, he achieved instant notoriety for his athletic prowess and basketball talents, while the stylish and performance-oriented Optima sedan continued its ascent with its head-turning design translating to record sales. As a playful homage to this iconic dunk, Kia Motors America (KMA) kicks off another new piece of the overall 2012 Optima advertising campaign today with the debut of "Time to Shine," a 30-second spot that humorously showcases Griffin's athleticism in a stunt using a powerful Optima to tow inline skate-wearing Griffin to a ramp that catapults him in the air to a 45-foot-high basketball hoop, where he dunks the ball. Created by David&Goliath, KMA's advertising agency of record, and renowned director Paul Hunter, who is credited with award-winning advertisements, "Time to Shine" is available now at and makes its television debut today on a variety of prime time, late night and cable programming.

    "There is an inherent link between the youthful style and performance attributes of the Kia Optima and the extraordinary talent and athleticism displayed by Griffin in every game," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. "The Kia Optima is not your average midsize sedan and Blake Griffin is not your average spokesperson or athlete, making the memorable connection in the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk competition the perfect launching point for a playful follow-up to a spectacular feat."

    Griffin is the only current professional basketball player with a global marketing relationship with an automaker. The partnership with Griffin also increases Kia's presence in professional basketball following the brand's extension and expansion of its relationship with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2010. As one of the most recognizable young players in professional basketball, Griffin will continue to be featured in upcoming Kia broadcast commercials throughout the fall.

    In his role as a global spokesperson for Kia Motors, Griffin supports the brand's marketing programs and appears in the company's advertising materials, makes public appearances on behalf of the brand, and is involved in exclusive product promotions, social media engagements and philanthropic initiatives.

    About Blake Griffin
    Selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin took the NBA by storm in his rookie season and broke records every step of the way. Known for his high-flying dunks and unwavering physicality, Griffin competed on the 2011 NBA All-Star Team, the first rookie All-Star voted to the game by coaches since Tim Duncan in 1998. He also took first prize in the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and participated in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. A highlight reel sensation equipped with the size, strength, quickness and skill to keep his household name buzzworthy for many years to come, Griffin has transformed the Clippers into a must-watch franchise. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., the 6'9" power forward attended the University of Oklahoma, where he was one of the highest rated and most decorated recruits in Sooners history. A media magnet, Griffin already has earned numerous accolades, including the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Adolph Rupp Trophy, John Wooden Award, Naismith Award, Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, multiple NBA Western Conference T-Mobile Rookie of the Month honors and many more; for more information go to or follow him at @blakegriffin.

    About the 2012 Kia Optima
    With sleek exterior styling and a refined interior, the 2012 Optima is available in three trims, LX, EX and SX, and offers a wide array of convenience and luxury as well as impressive technology features like an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM Traffic™1 Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks, standard Bluetooth®2 wireless connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls3, and Kia's new UVO powered by Microsoft®4 voice-activated infotainment system. Available with three powerful and fuel-efficient engines, a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter GDI turbo or a 2.4-liter hybrid that achieves up to 40 miles per gallon5 on the highway, the stylish and performance-oriented midsize sedan begins at $19,5006 for 2012.

    Design-Led Transformation and Product Line
    Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and brand growth through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technology. Kia's commitment to the U.S. market is represented by its U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – which is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and added the critically acclaimed Optima midsize sedan7 to its production line in September. Kia's model year 2012 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

    About Kia Motors America
    Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 745 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

    Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – For media information, including photography, visit

    1 Sirius services require subscriptions, sold separately after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase/lease. Subscriptions governed by SiriusXM Customer Agreement at© 2011 SiriusXM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SiriusXM Radio Inc.
    2 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and tradenames are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
    3 Driving while drowsy or distracted is dangerous and should be avoided. Drivers should remain attentive to driving and always exercise caution when using the steering wheel-mounted controls while driving
    4 Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
    5 EPA estimate for highway mileage for 2012 Optima Hybrid. Actual mileage may vary.
    6 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRPs exclude $750 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
    7 Optima Hybrid will not be built at KMMG.
    Press Release Information Accuracy Disclaimer
    Information posted in press releases on the Kia Media website was accurate at the time of posting but may be superseded by subsequent releases or other information.