The Kia K900 is the first luxury sedan from the Korean automaker so they’ve lined up a pretty impressive name to be the car’s spokesman. That role goes to basketball star LeBron James who will be the official K900 Luxury Ambassador.
This is a multi-year partnership that will kick off later this month with its first commercial as the 2014-2015 basketball season starts. It will all be part of the Fit for a King campaign which Kia hopes will raise the profile of their new luxury car.
This time, it wasn’t an automaker reaching out to recruit a big name, but the other way around. James was driving around in his own K900 before this got going and loved the car so much he contacted Kia about working together. He even posted photos online along with the comment, “Rolling around in my K900. Love this car!” so they’ve definitely got one enthusiastic guy for the job.
It’s worth nothing the James is known for having more than a few luxury cars in his stable, including much more high profile names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche. Kia might not seem like it should fit in with that mix, but this is a luxury sedan so they’re hoping the association with James will change that perception.
Recruiting James adds him to an already impressive list of athletes who have worked with Kia. NBA All-Star Blake Griffin, tennis player Rafael Nadal, and U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie have all had endorsement deals in the past. Kia’s close tie to sports include being the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.
The K900 was always intended to be a low-volume car and they’ve only sold 1,106 of them this year. A lot of people don’t even know it exists, but there’s a good chance that will change once the ads with James start airing. Even if they don’t buy a K900, knowing a guy who drives a Ferrari also drives a Kia will probably get people to give the whole brand a second look.