South Korean corporates spend big on World Cup

South Korean companies are kicking off massive marketing activities for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker and one of 14 official partners of the tournament in Germany, is supplying around 1,000 automobiles to be used to carry players, officials and media from all over the world during the one-month event in June.

“We estimated the effects gained from our sponsorship of the 2002 World Cup games amounted to 6 trillion won and for next year’s World Cup, the figure will jump to 9 trillion won,’’ the company’s public relations manager Cho Hong-ki told Cho Jin-seo of the Korea Times.

The company has a task force of 31 employees devoted to the World Cup and will be the host of the “Fan of the Match’’ event on the official website where it will award a prize to a spectator wearing the most exciting costume, face and make-up every match day.

Hyundai hopes that 300 million visitors will visit its website via the World Cup homepage, about six times more than four years ago. “We will begin a road show soon that will travel through all of 32 participating countries, which will maximize the turnover from the event,’’ the company said in a statement.

“One reason Hyundai has so much interest in the World Cup is that it witnessed the power of sports marketing a year and a half ago in Greece,” Cho commented. “At the time, it was behind Toyota and Opel in the local automobile market with an 8.6 percent share in 2002 and 2003. But after sponsoring the Euro 2004 football championship, which Greece won for the first time in history, Hyundai’s share rose to 9.3 percent to become the top seller.”

LG Electronics has installed 110 flat-screen television units at the airport of Frankfurt, the host of five matches including South Korea’s first match against Togo on 13 June. The South Korean giant is also the sponsor of the German national team.


KTF Co, the nation's second-largest mobile service provider, launched its marketing by signing a sponsorship contract last month with the "Red Devils," the official fan club of South Korea's national football team. Under the deal, KTF will sponsor a variety of promotional events such as concerts with the club to maximize marketing benefits from the soccer tournament. KTF has already provided the Korea Republic's football association with 50 complimentary phones, each capable of international roaming in 90 countries, so the national team players and coaches can make calls during their training and games, the Joongang Daily reported (4 Jan).

The Samsung Economic Research Institute estimated the previous World Cup, jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan in 2002, had a corporate promotion effect worth 14.76 trillion won (US$ 14.67 billion).