With an expanding vehicle lineup and growing sales, Hyundai Motor America is going big with sponsorship.

As evidenced by its new partnership with the NFL, the South Korean-based automaker has adopted a new sponsorship strategy that focuses on national properties that provide local reach.

The NFL builds on a portfolio that includes four other national sponsorship platforms: college sports (17 schools); music (Grammy Awards); golf (Hyundai Tournament of Champions, etc.) and real estate agents (see sidebar).

“The big focus for us over the past few years is going from individual market sponsorships to national platforms. We can influence opinion and consideration and create demand more efficiently at the national level,” said Trea Reedy, Hyundai Motor America senior group manager, experiential.

“We weren’t being efficient with the things we were doing. We want to do things bigger and better to get our message out more effectively.”

Reedy points to Hyundai’s golf platform as an example. The company in 2014 launched the Hyundai Invitational, a marketing platform that affords a presence at 50 charity golf tournaments around the country. Hyundai enhances the event experience with sweepstakes and activities including a hole-in-one contest that dangles the chance to win a Hyundai Genesis premium sedan.

Two winners from each tournament will play at the Oct. 21-23 Hyundai Invitational National Final in Las Vegas, with the winner receiving a trip to January’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions PGA Tour stop in Hawaii.

“The idea is to go from the local market up to national. We’re going to where people play and giving them a premium experience all the way through.”

Hyundai also serves as the official vehicle of the PGA Tour Humana Challenge and vehicle partner of the Farmers Insurance Open. The company also has an endorsement deal with TV commentator David Feherty.

Hyundai last month launched its NFL partnership with presenting status of NFL Kickoff events in San Francisco—home of the 2016 Super Bowl. Hyundai’s activation included the Kickoff to 50 at San Francisco’s Pier 35, a program it leveraged with a Super Bowl 50 gold-wrapped Hyundai Tucson and a Santa Fe SUV customized for tailgating.

Hyundai is still developing activation plans for the rest of the season.

“We’re looking at how we can leverage the platform locally through team sponsorships like our partnerships with the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans, and through platforms like the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.”

Hyundai continues to sponsor local events out of its five regional offices, said Reedy, pointing to the Texans as an example.

“Our national office focuses on big platforms with local applications, but we encourage our regional offices to get into their local markets.”

The Importance Of Integrated Programs
Integrated activation platforms are priority one for Hyundai.

“The biggest thing for me is that I want these programs to be integrated. I don’t want to just be about TV ads, social or some other element. Consumers interact with sporting events in different ways, and we want to make sure that we’re integrated.”

For example, Hyundai is working with the NFL to ensure that its social strategy supports the league’s social strategy, and vice versa.

“People consume the NFL in multiple ways. We want to make sure we engage fans in a way that is supportive across multiple platforms.

Advantage International helps Hyundai execute the NFL and other sponsorships.