Kia Motors Corporation, the major partner of the Australian Open, has confirmed a five-year renewal of the partnership with Rafael Nadal, an all-time great tennis player, via a global live stream training session hosted on his official Facebook page. The broadcast offered fans an opportunity to support Nadal get back to fitness while he braces for his return to the court.
The young tennis phenom was first sponsored by Kia Spain back in 2004 before becoming Kia’s Global Brand Ambassador two years later at just 19 years of age. The renewal agreement would prolong the Nadal-Kia partnership to the 20-year mark.
Rafael Nadal posted on social media that he would be having a live practice session on Friday 24th July starting at 11:00 am CET. Nadal stated that the people watching the live event would be able to decide which shots he will practice.
Aired from the Rafael Nadal Academy in his hometown of Mallorca, Spain, the live stream aimed to #GetRafaMoving with supporters entering to vote in real-time. Using a set of emojis, viewers had complete control and tailored the activity depending on what they needed to see more from Nadal.
During the unique training, Nadal took on a range of drills from knocking down targets from baseline to returning over balls with incredible trick shots.
After taking on the fan-led training session, Nadal commented, “Fans have been without tennis for months now, particularly mine since besides my practice routines at the Rafa Nadal academy I haven’t been active, so I really enjoyed putting on a special event for them.”
“Kia has been by my side since I was 17 years old and has played a big part in my journey as a professional tennis player and as a person. I’m excited to see what the next five years bring both on and off the court,” he added.
Kia Motors President & CEO, Ho Sung Song, said, “Our 16-year partnership with Rafa has inspired millions of people to play tennis, so at a time when he needs his fans the most, we wanted to put them at the heart of his training and encourage his successful return to competition. We are excited about extending our partnership for the next five years and look forward to inspiring each other to continually move forward.”