Female Korean golfers ace lucrative sponsorship deals

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Female Korean golfers ace lucrative sponsorship deals

The popularity of women’s golf is on the rise, and as a result some of the top domestic female golfers are receiving lucrative sponsorship deals.

Newcomers to the women’s golf scene this year include BC Card, MU Sports, Yojin Construction & Engineering and Hyundai Swiss Asset Management.

KLPGA tour golfers are said to be receiving between 40 million won to 80 million won ($34,600 to $69,200) a year, while those with at least one tour victory fetch around 100 million to 200 million won per season. Those payoffs are up from about 30 million won and 100 million won, respectively, in the previous season.

One of the biggest names to hit the market recently has been Kim Ha-neul, 22, formerly with Kolon Elord. Her contract with Kolon expired at the end of last year, and she has now signed a two-year sponsorship deal worth 200 million won plus incentives with BC Card, plus a two-year sub-sponsorship deal with Le Coq Sportif for 50 million won. Kim failed to win a single event last season but still managed to finish seventh on the earners’ list.

“Considering BC Card awarded me with a top flight contract, I will prepare for the upcoming season with the mindset of a newcomer and will win some events,” Kim said.

Joining Kim on the BC Card roster is Hong Jin-joo, 27. Hong is making a return to the KLPGA from the LPGA this season, and is reportedly set to receive approximately 100 million won per season under the BC Card deal. Kim Hye-youn, 21, who represented Hi Mart until last season, is currently in talks to join BC Card next season.

The 24-year-old Hong Ran, who won two events last season, will represent MU Sports. Lee Jung-eun, 22, who also won two events last season, has signed on with Hoban Construction, while Jo Young-ran, 23, and Nam Min-ji, 22, have parted ways with Hi Mart and LIG, respectively, and have both joined Yojin Construction & Engineering.

In addition to golfers with new sponsors, several golfers have resigned with their current sponsors. Choi He-yong, Kim Hyun-ji and Yoon Chae-young have all returned to LIG. Kim Bo-kyung and Yoon Seul-ah, both 24 years old, have resigned with Dunlop Srixon and Segye Tour respectively.

By Moon Seung-jin [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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