By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

April 11, 2019 | 3 min read

Kia has appointed football club media business Dugout to activate the South Korean auto-manufacturer's Uefa Europe League partnership in South Korea and Europe.

It will work with sports marketing agency Right Formula and Team Marketing (Uefa's bespoke agency), to deliver content and activities around Kia's sponsorship of the European football tournament. They began partnering in 2018.

Dugout, which enjoys exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the top clubs and players in Europe, is briefed with bringing Kia closer to the continent's most-loved sport, and to help drive sales in Europe using "activations and content". It claims to have 86 clubs, national football federations and leagues all signed as partners.

Kia is charged with handling the Official Match Ball Carrier partnership of the tournament, which Dugout will help deliver. It will also create original content around the fans of the club's participating in the tournament with a Uefa Europa League Weekly magazine show. During the Uefa Europa League Trophy Tour, fans and players will also be encouraged to donate used and unwanted boots for the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, to help Syrian refugees partake in football.

“As Kia’s premier sponsorship property for the European region, the Uefa Europa League is the perfect platform to create closer engagement with football fans across Europe and beyond, and we believe that authenticity lies at the core of any successful brand interaction with such passionate audiences," said Michael Choo, Kia Motors' general manager of brand promotion.

Dugout president Matthew Baxter, added: “We are absolutely delighted to announce this long-term partnership with Kia Motors especially at a time when brands involved in football sponsorship are constantly seeking new ways of strengthening the relationship and engagement amongst football fans.

"Through Dugout’s unprecedented access to our partner clubs, we have created Kia’s ‘Home of Football’ and filmed hours of exclusive behind the scenes content making this a truly groundbreaking partnership.

“As the fastest-growing mainstream brand in its industry, Kia share our ambitions to have relationships with fans both on a local and global level which we know will establish the key foundations for a very special long-term relationship."

The Dugout app will feature a Kia hub where all the content will live, branching out into it and Kia's social media channels. launched in November 2016, followed by its app in March 2017.

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