ATLANTA — Hoping to leverage its sponsorship support of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Kumho Tire USA Inc. has signed Washington Wizards all-star guard John Wall to be its brand ambassador and launched a contest for free tickets to the upcoming All-Star Game.
Kumho's partnership with Mr. Wall, which includes a national advertising campaign and several marketing initiatives, attempts to draw parallels between Mr. Wall's athletic attributes — performance, balance, control, handling and commitment to excellence — and Kumho tires.
"As the official tire of the NBA, Kumho Tire decided to establish a partnership with one of the league's most explosive and dynamic players who shares and showcases our company's core values and attributes both on and off the court," Kumho Tire USA CEO Harry Choi said.
Signing Mr. Wall — a five-time NBA all-star — as a brand ambassador will "amplify our partnership with the most transcendent and innovative professional sports league," he added.
The Kumho/Wall partnership's first order of business is the "Kumho Tire Hip-Hop Handles," a national competition that invites basketball enthusiasts to demonstrate their ball-handling skills and talents with a chance to win a trip to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game festivities in Los Angeles the weekend of Feb. 17-18.
In basketball, "handles" is the ultimate expression of skills and style that generate dynamic moves on the court, Kumho said. In the Kumho Handles competition, ballers are invited to submit 30-second video clips of themselves showing off their ball-handling creativity and flair choreographed to one of two pre-selected hip-hop tracks.
Based on skill, creativity and style to the accompanying music tracks, Kumho will pick two national winners to receive an all-expenses paid trip for themselves and a guest with VIP access to various events at the NBA All-Star weekend.
"Posterizing your opponent is one thing, but there's a level of excitement, style and self-expression that only great ball handling delivers," Mr. Wall said. "I personally love this Hip-Hop Handles program, because it allows fans to showcase a unique element of our game for a chance to win an incredible NBA All-Star experience."
Fans can submit their videos at kumhohandles.com. The contest is open only to legal U.S. residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are 16 years of age or older at the time of entry. Contest submission period ends Feb. 8 at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
Joining Mr. Wall in Kumho Tire's backcourt is streetball legend Phillip "Hot Sauce" Champion. Well known for his wicked crossover and off-the-charts ball handling, "Hot Sauce" also threw down the "Hip-Hop Handles" challenge to ballers across the nation with several performances, which can be seen on kumhohandles.com.
In addition to the national promotion, Kumho Tire will bring the "Hip-Hop Handles" challenge to Southern California and host multiple qualifying competitions in the weeks leading up to the NBA All-Star Game. One regional winner will be selected on the spot by a panel of judges. Additional details surrounding the Los Angeles event will be announced in the coming weeks.
Each of the three winners will receive a VIP experience at NBA All-Star, including suite tickets to all events being held at Staples Center and meet-and-greets with NBA legends.
Kumho has been the official tire of the NBA and NBA Development League (NBA D-League) in the U.S. and South Korea since 2014.