Kia Motors found the upstart player Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, and in 2011 and it just seemed like the wrong choice. Now, it seems TheWeeklyDriver.com just didn't have a clue about marketing power.
With Griffin's rising celebrity as a second-year player and the way he's already begun the 2011-2012 season, Kia and its series of Griffin doing clever, funny things in Kia commercials is continuing in a big way. It's a sure-fire public relations, marketing stroke of genius.
Griffin is the only current professional basketball player with a global marketing relationship with an automaker.
The partnership with Griffin also increases Kia Motors presence in professional basketball following the brand's extension and expansion of its relationship with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2010.
In his role as a global spokesperson for Kia Motors, Griffin also makes public appearances on behalf of the brand, and is involved in exclusive product promotions, social media engagements and philanthropic initiatives.
Here's the latest 30-second commercial featuring, the Kia Optima, Griffin and a "hot potato."
Article Last Updated: December 26, 2011.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.