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Kia Scores a Slam Dunk with All-Star Integration

The debate is still buzzing in our office over whether or not Blake Griffin deserved to win this year's NBA Slam Dunk contest. But one thing that can't be debated, Kia appears to be the big winner of the night. With the NBA's fanhood reaching Jordan-like levels, this year's 'AllStar Saturday Night'? (Skills Challenge, Three Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest) was the most watched in the event's 26 year history according to TNT, drawing 8.1 million total viewers (5.1 million households and a 4.4 rating). The broadcast peaked at 10.4 total viewers while the Crenshaw Elite Choir sang 'I Believe I Can Fly'? as Griffin leaped over the hood of a Kia Optima for his final dunk of the night. CNBC's Darren Rovell reported earlier today that consideration for Kia spiked significantly with Edmunds.com reporting a 20% increase in consideration for Kia on the day after the Slam Dunk contest compared to an average Sunday.  Consumers were twice as likely (104%) to consider buying the Optima Sedan ' the specific vehicle that Griffin dunked over. And let's be clear, this was very much a planned product integration. CNBC reports that the arrangement was made weeks before the contest between Kia, Kia's Agency IMG, and Griffin's management company. Rovell reported that 'As part of the deal, Griffin and Kia agreed to have a more formal relationship if the dunk was pulled off and he won the contest, which he did.'? So not only has Griffin re-energized one of the most miserable NBA franchises in the league this season (I'm eagerly anticipating seeing the 'Blakers'? play the Celtics in a few weeks) and taken home the 'Sprite Slam Dunk Championship'? trophy, but he's also secured a new endorsement deal. I look forward to seeing the Griffin Kia commercials, and I can't wait to see the official sales data for Optima's purchased in the month after the dunk contest. I'm also looking forward to the copycat dunk videos on YouTube.

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