Kia Is Ready to Score During Recession

Rafael Nadal of Spain at a press conference following victory in his men's singles final against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 1, 2009. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal reduced Roger Federer to tears by seizing the Australian Open tennis championship on Feb. 1, but execs at the Seoul headquarters of Kia Motors couldn't have been happier. Nadal, the reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion, has had a sponsorship deal with the Korean automaker for 2-1/2 years, and his victory marked the culmination of Kia's aggressive promotion of itself during the two-week tournament in Melbourne. Spectators in the Rod Laver Arena or watching on TV couldn't escape the oblong Kia logo plastered all over the venue.

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