In his 2005 hit "Gold Digger," rapper Kanye West told a story of a football star whose onerous child-support payments force him to "win the Super Bowl and drive off in a Hyundai."
That's not so implausible now that the onetime bargain brand has inked a four-year deal to replace General Motors as automotive sponsor of the National Football League. Don't be surprised if the MVP of Super Bowl 50 gets the keys to a Genesis.
A deal with the NFL is particularly valuable. After all, football is the most-watched sport in America. But every major league has an automotive partner, as do some minor ones.
- Major League Baseball: Chevrolet
In the 1970s, the catchphrase was "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet." Last year, it was "technology and stuff," blurted by a bewildered zone manager as he presented a Colorado pickup to the World Series MVP. Chevrolet, which had sponsored MLB since 2005, took the jokes in stride and soaked in the attention.
- National Basketball Association: Kia
The Korean automaker, which took over from Toyota in 2009, got some valuable publicity in 2014 when LeBron James, the sport's biggest star, spent some time with Kia's $54,500 flagship sedan. "Rolling around in my K900," James wrote on social media. "Love this car!!" More than 175,000 people "liked" the post on Facebook.
- Major League Soccer: Audi
Though MLS lacks the talent of Germany's Bundesliga, this deal, which kicked off this year, was not surprising. After all, we're talking about soccer-mad Audi, which paid 90 million euros in 2009 for a 9 percent stake in German powerhouse Bayern Munich. Call it sibling rivalry: Volkswagen owns its hometown club, VfL Wolfsburg.
- Professional Bull Riders: Ford
The Blue Oval has sponsored America's top bull-riding league since 2002, using it mainly as exposure for its all-important F-150 pickup. Ford re-upped earlier this year to make sure its name would remain on the Built Ford Tough World Finals, scheduled for October in Las Vegas.