GENEVA -- Kia Motors will join parent Hyundai Motor as an automotive sponsor of the FIFA World Cup starting in 2007.
Hyundai began sponsoring the most important event in men's soccer in 2002, when Japan and South Korea were co-hosts. The Korean carmakers have a contract to jointly sponsor the event until 2014.
"Football gives us a global reach," Hyundai spokesman Oles Gadacz said, "as it has fans all over the world."
Hyundai declined to say how much the sponsorship will cost, but people close to the matter say the South Korean carmaker is paying slightly more than $100 million (about E750,000) just to be linked with the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In 2002, Hyundai provided 1,053 vehicles for use by the officials with the Korean and Japanese organizing committees.