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Kia America’s Russell Wager named MediaPost’s 2023 Automotive Marketer of the Year

  • Kia executed a number of high-profile initiatives, including entertainment naming rights, expanded sports sponsorships and an entre into the gaming category – all in support of Kia’s aggressive new product launch initiatives

Russell Wager, vice president, marketing, Kia America, was honored as MediaPost’s 2023 Automotive Marketer of the Year. The MediaPost Marketing Automotive Awards honor advertisers and agencies who are excelling in today’s many forms of communication and rewriting the handbook on automotive marketing. The impact of Wager’s team’s marketing approach has been recognized for its strong contribution towards Kia’s all-time record 2023 sales and the brand’s continued evolution.  

“I am thankful for Kia’s innovative marketing spirit,” Wager said. “It takes a skilled team of dedicated professionals to achieve the success Kia America has enjoyed, and I am honored to be part of what this brand is all about.” 

Grounded in Kia’s Movement That Inspires brand purpose, Wager and Kia’s Marketing and Communications teams wrapped up 2023 with introductions of six new or refreshed models, grew overall market share, and captured new audience consideration for the company’s award-winning lineup of vehicles.  Since Wager joined Kia in 2019, the team’s high profile initiatives have included special activations in Times Square during New Year’s Eve, multi-dimensional Super Bowl ad campaigns, expansion of  Kia’s long-standing NBA partnership including additional team and league sponsorships, a bold entrance into the dynamic world of eSports, coast-to-coast entertainment naming rights at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles and the Kia Center in Orlando, an unexpected and immersive EV experience for attendees during 2024’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and expanded “Accelerate the Good” corporate social responsibility activities that engaged Kia employees and dealers across the country in a true grassroots effort. 

Over the last 25+ years, Wager has served in a number of executive roles within automotive brands or their agencies, both in the U.S. and globally.


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