Sponsorship & Marketing

Kia extends Oval backing in record deal for Surrey

Featured image credit: Surrey CCC

Surrey County Cricket Club has agreed a five-year extension to its stadium naming rights partnership with the UK arm of South Korean automotive manufacturer Kia in a record deal which also incorporates headline sponsorship of the club.

The agreement announced today (Wednesday) means the London stadium will continue to be known as the Kia Oval through to the end of 2029. The partnership first began in 2010, and was previously extended in July 2019, making it one of the longest brand associations in English sport. The sponsorship becomes the biggest partnership in the club’s 179-year history.

The Kia logo will feature around the historic ground, on both Surrey men’s and women’s shirts and across the club’s digital channels.

The partnership will also see Kia sponsor the Oval’s four, 150 foot, floodlights, with a commitment to switching from halogen bulbs to efficient LED lights in the coming years. This is expected to reduce energy consumption by approximately 40%, and reduce carbon emissions by around 168 tonnes, compared to the existing halogen bulbs.

Sustainability remains a key commitment for Kia and Surrey, with both setting a series of ambitious goals. Surrey aims to reduce its total emissions output by 45% by the end of 2024, with an 80% carbon footprint reduction due by 2030. Kia is committed to realising worldwide carbon neutrality by 2045 and is set to introduce 15 fully electric vehicles globally by 2027, while all Kia manufacturing sites will be powered by fully renewable energy by 2040.

The partnership will continue to place a strong emphasis on inspiring new generations of cricket players and enthusiasts. In September, Kia gave young cricket fans the opportunity to be coached by Sri Lankan cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara, whose playing career included a spell at Surrey, at the Kia Oval. Kia has also created a bespoke fan zone at the Oval called ‘The Best Seats in the House’.

Kia will continue to be closely involved with the ground’s T20 matches, for example through the ‘Kia Catch’ initiative where fans can win £1,000 (€1,162/$1,272) by cleanly catching a six struck into the stands. Visitors will also be able to explore first-hand the latest Kia vehicles, including the brand’s expanding range of all-electric models, at many key matches.

Paul Philpott, president and CEO of Kia UK, said: “The partnership between Kia and Surrey CCC has been mutually beneficial for many years.

“Whether it’s the collaboration we share with club and its fans, or the light the sponsorship has shone on our award-winning vehicles to 27,500 pitch side spectators, plus many more remote viewers. We look forward to working closely with the club in the years to come, pursuing new goals based on our shared values.”

Steve Elworthy, CEO at Surrey CCC, added: “It’s always been important for us to partner with a company that respects our club’s rich heritage, the game of cricket, and the health of the world around us. Having a partner that champions the importance of sustainability will help drive the club towards our ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2030.

“With common goals and strong links to Surrey, Kia has been a fantastic partner over the last 14 years, and we look forward to continuing our journey together.”