Let’s be honest, as much of a huge leap forward the Kia K900 is for the automaker, it’s not quite a stellar seller and despite its Hyundai-roots and Kia’s overall ability to change its brand perception for the better, people oddly haven’t been as receptive to the idea of a $60,000+ Kia as well as they have the idea of a $70,000 Hyundai. Basically, the Equus has been far more successful for Hyundai than the K900 has been for Kia.
So to help nudge its image for the better, they gave one to NBA all-star, LeBron James, for free, as a sponsorship.
Click here for our review of the 2015 Kia K900.
But because of the stigma generated for the K900, many are still out to doubt the reality of LeBron driving around in a near-$70,000 Kia K900.
In a statement with Kia however, he swore to tell the “truth” about driving his K900, and he says he does, in, go figure, a new ad campaign.
You’d typically think someone as big of a star as LeBron would drive around in something far more posh and luxurious, with more “badge” status to match its prestige–like a Bentley, or an Aston Martin. Because, you know, basketball players here in the US are kind of like footballers in the UK.
But driving a K900 as a high-profile individual wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world, if you really think about it. The K900 is still just as luxurious as some of the other full-size luxury sedans already from Europe and Japan. If you head back to our review, we loved the K900’s sense of solidity and quality materials were found abound. It definitely felt like a luxury car.
Though ultimately, it would be a great way to fly under the radar, since not many would expect a star to be driving around in such a lavish…Kia. Ironically though, when we tested the K900, we received looks, compliments and questions nearly ever where we went because people have hardly seen the K900 in the streets. So interestingly, it received more looks than you think.
It’s also got a 5.0L Hyundai-sourced Tau V8 with 420hp and an eight-speed automatic, both lifted from the Equus, so the power department isn’t shy either.
Check out the video below along with the press release.
LEBRON JAMES TELLS “THE TRUTH” ABOUT DRIVING HIS KIA K900 LUXURY SEDAN
11-Time NBA All-Star Responds To Real Tweets in New Ad Campaign
First of three spots from “The Truth” campaign will begin airing on TV tonight and can be viewed at Kia.com and YouTube.com/Kia
Multiplatform campaign will run through the remainder of basketball season and includes television, digital and social media elements
IRVINE, Calif., December 3, 2015 – Last year, when LeBron James Tweeted “Rolling around in my K900. Love this car!!” and later stated he was a K900 driver before becoming Kia Motors’ luxury ambassador, naysayers took to social media to question the validity of his claims. Now, with sales of Kia’s rear-drive luxury sedan up considerably over 2014 levels, the 11-time NBA All-Star and avid car collector is tackling that skepticism head-on to prove the K900 is in fact “Fit For A King” in a new ad campaign from Kia Motors America (KMA).
In the spots – titled “Ten Mil,” “1,000%” and “Spaceship” – James assembles a team of experts in his garage command post to help prove he drives a Kia K900 by responding to the following real tweets:
“I’ll bet anyone $10,000,000 that LeBron doesn’t roll up to the games in a Kia.”
“There’s a thousand percent chance that there’s a zero percent chance that LeBron drives a Kia.”
“LeBron drives a Kia like I fly a spaceship.”
“The award-winning K900 exemplifies the incredible transformation of the Kia brand, and as a tastemaker who is not afraid to go his own way, LeBron James plays an important role in our efforts to change perception by challenging consumers to discover the new Kia,” said Tim Chaney, vice president of marketing communications, KMA. “LeBron is pushing people to question everything they think they know about our brand, and we could not be more proud of the fact that he can often be seen driving in and around the Cleveland area in a Kia K900.”
James assumed the role of K900 Luxury Ambassador in October of 2014 after reaching out to Kia – the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA – for a firsthand experience with the flagship sedan aimed at confident, independent thinkers. “I was a Kia K900 driver and fan before we decided to become partners,” said James. “For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am, and that’s what makes this one so special.”
Created by David&Goliath, Kia’s advertising agency of record, the spots can be viewed on cable and network NBA programming and on all of Kia’s social and digital platforms, including YouTube.com/Kia and Kia.com.
About the 2016 Kia K900
The 2016 K900 continues to challenge the rear-drive luxury sedan segment with world-class accommodations, premium driving dynamics, advanced technology and a stunning design that redefines consumer perception and expectations of the Kia brand. Offered in three trim levels, V6 Premium, V6 Luxury and V8 Luxury, the K900’s extensive list of standard equipment includes an all-new 3.8-liter, 311-horsepower V6 engine, leather seating and panoramic sunroof. New for 2016, the K900 features a revised front grille, Smart Power Trunk, Smart Shift and Drive, available Autonomous Emergency Braking1 and an enhanced navigation system with a 9.2-inch high-definition touchscreen with premium audio and UVO2 Luxury Services.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA and set an all-time annual sales record in 2014, surpassing the 500,000 unit mark for the third consecutive year. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900** flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Soul Electric Vehicle***, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door subcompacts and the Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia’s U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 15,000 plant and supplier jobs.
Information about KMA and its full vehicle line-up is available at www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts
1 Autonomous Emergency Braking is not a substitute for safe driving, and may not detect all objects in front of vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
2 Distracted driving can result in a loss of vehicle control. Never use a handheld device or vehicle system that takes your focus away from safe vehicle operation. Navigation is for information purposes only, and Kia does not make any warranties about the accuracy of the information.
** K900 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.
*** Soul EV in select markets with limited availability.
– By: Chris Chin