KB succeeds with sports marketing

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KB succeeds with sports marketing

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As part of its sports marketing strategy, KB has sponsored athletes such as rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae, left, golfer Park In-bee, center, and former figure skater Kim Yuna, right. [HANWHA LIFE]

KB Financial Group has become a sports-marketing success story following strong performances from the athletes featured in its viral video “The Miraculous Journey.”

Bobsleigh duo Won Yun-jong and Seo Young-woo won South Korea’s first-ever World Cup gold on January 24 at the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup. The duo came in first place with a combined time of 1:39.50. The duo clinched two gold medals and three bronze medals during the 2015-2016 season, topping the two-man bobsleigh World Cup rankings.

Skeleton slider Yoon Sung-bin also nabbed South Korea’s first-ever World Cup title on Feb. 5, winning the seventh leg of the IBSF World Cup in St. Moritz with a combined time of 2:18:26. Winning one gold, three silver and three bronze medals, Yoon finished the 2015-2016 season ranked second in the world. He went on to become the first Asian to win a silver medal in skeleton at the IBSF World Championship in Igls on Feb. 20

With these victories, prospects for South Korea’s performance at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games have brightened.

Starting with former figure skater Kim Yuna in 2006, KB has provided financial support to athletes and national teams in winter sports such as curling, short-track speed skating, bobsleigh, skeleton and figure skating. KB has recently extended its support to other sports including swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and badminton.

KB receives publicity every time an athlete sets a record or wins a title. However, the financial group believes that providing support to budding athletes based on growth potential rather than achievements was the key to its successful sports marketing.

“There is always the possibility that this kind of sports marketing will fail,” says a KB official. “However, we believe it is our social responsibility to provide athletes with the opportunity to achieve their dreams.”

BY PARK HYEMI [park.hyemi@joongang.co.kr]
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