Kia, Blackwater to shoot pro hoops in the PBA

A couple of brands in the Philippines have recognized that if there’s one way to get into the hearts and minds of Filipinos, it is through breathtaking slam dunks and gut-wrenching buzzer beaters.

The Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) just announced the application of two new teams in time for its 40th anniversary, namely Kia Motors Philippines and Blackwater Sports.

Kia marks the first entry of a car brand in the league since 1983 while Blackwater, a one-time PBA D-League champion, is the first expansion team to join the PBA in over a decade.  The last to join the PBA via expansion was Red Bull in 2000.

Shooting pro hoops in the Big League engages Filipinos like no other. A visit to any back alley half court in the country will make it fairly apparent that locals are smitten over basketball, idolizing hard court super stars that burn the brands they represent deep in their psyche.

“The opportunities in sports marketing in the country are vast and we, at Kia, are interested about this new prospect in the PBA. I hope that the public will continuously pour its support to Kia wherever this new endeavor may lead us,” Ginia Domingo, president of Kia’s local distributor Columbian Autocar Corporation, said.

Blackwater Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy, even went on to say that basketball is best way there is to be top of mind among Filipinos.

“The PBA, no doubt, is the biggest and best marketing tool in the country,” Sy told

“It can make your brand a household name. Look at Alaska, Rain or Shine, San Miguel. They have may recall in their respective markets,” he adds.

Sy, also the owner of Ever Bilena, said the business gains from joining the PBA compensates the P100-million fee to join the league. Without figures, he is expecting that the PBA could boost its sales in three to four years’ time.

How addicted are Filipinos to basketball? The classic match between Ginebra San Miguel and San Mig Coffee, the PBA’s most popular teams, that was shown live on TV5 last 12 February was recorded to be most watched primetime program in Mega Manila on that day.

Based on Nielsen data, the game was watched by almost 5.4 million viewers and secured 48.4% audience share or close to half of the entire urban individuals nationwide.

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