Hyundai hands over vehicles for official transport of teams, officials and VIPs during world tournament
(Johannesburg, South Africa) With 365 days to go until the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ kicks off, Hyundai Motor Company recently officially started the countdown to the world’s greatest sporting event as it delivered a fleet of 78 vehicles to the local organizing committee of FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009. Customarily held in the World Cup host nation a year before the World Cup, the Confederations Cup is widely viewed as a test run of facilities and management.
The two-week tournament, to be played in four South African cities, opens June 14th at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium. Eight national teams will be competing for the world crown: South Africa, Italy, Egypt, Iraq, Spain, USA, New Zealand and Brazil. These teams are all winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships, along with the FIFA World Cup winner and the host country.
For the tournament, Hyundai delivered 66 passenger cars and 12 buses to FIFA and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (LOC) at the Expo Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The handover ceremony was attended by over 100 VIPs, FIFA & company officials and media members.
“Hyundai is proud to partner with FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009. The opportunity to provide VIP transport at this year’s tournament gives us the high visibility we need in South Africa and around the world to build a wider awareness for our brand and products,” said Hyundai Senior Vice President of Marketing Sean S. H. Kim as he symbolically presented an oversized car key to FIFA LOC Chief Officer of Transport & Logistics Skhumbuzo Macozoma.
The pride of the fleet will be Hyundai’s Azera premium sedan which will serve as the flagship of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009: A total of 20 Azeras will be used to transport VIP’s, referees and dignitaries. As the official automotive partner, Hyundai will also supply Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs (19 units), Getz subcompacts (7 units) and H-1 passenger vans (20 units).
In addition to the fleet of passenger cars, SUVs and vans, Hyundai will provide 12 of its Universe luxury coaches to the eight national teams. It has also contracted another 20 semi-luxury coaches from its local partner Springbok Atlas, to provide a total of 350 bus days during the tournament.
Springbok Atlas will take responsibility for bus fleet operation including driver training and vehicle maintenance. This handover ceremony also marks the launch of the right hand drive version of the Universe luxury coach in the South African market.
This year, Hyundai celebrates the 10th anniversary of its association with FIFA, during which time it has demonstrated itself to be a reliable and effective partner by serving as the official automotive supplier to all FIFA-sanctioned events.
“Football is a universally understood language and a powerful unifying force that can pull people of all nationalities, races and creeds together. This coincides with Hyundai’s values and vision,” emphasized Senior Vice President Kim.
Hyundai is also one of the strongest supporters of football in the world having served as the official sponsor of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea / Japan™ and the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ as well as many other FIFA tournaments including the FIFA Confederations Cup. The company has extended its strategic sponsorship agreement with FIFA to cover the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Hyundai has not only infused a new sense of fun and excitement into the game, but through its sponsorship of international football it has also achieved a significant increase in brand awareness and improvements in the brand image. Football has helped Hyundai secure a firm foundation that will enable it to push its sports marketing strategy forward to gain a better foothold in markets where football reigns as the most popular sport, especially Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.