KBO targets younger fans with pop-up store, exhibition
The KBO's 40th birthday celebrations continue this week with the launch of a pop-up exhibition and store highlighting 40 years of league history with a number of specially-designed products on sale.
The pop-up store, launched under the KBO's "Sliding to your life" slogan, will be open on the popular Seongsu Cafe Street in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul from Thursday until July 10. The area, sometimes referred to as Seoul's Brooklyn, is a popular spot among younger Seoulites, the target audience for the store that the KBO says is designed to appeal to millennial and Gen Z baseball fans.
The exhibition will feature a number of pieces of memorabilia from the last 40 years of KBO action, on loan from the KBO Archive Center. The league brought in illustrator Jo In-hyuk and Team Positive Zero, the creative agency behind a number of pop-up stores across Seoul, to help design the exhibition and help it appeal to younger visitors.
Exclusive products will also be available, including t-shirts, commemorative baseballs, picnic mats and beer glasses, many of which have been designed in collaboration with Jo. According to the KBO, the products have a "newtro" theme, a portmanteau of the words new and retro that is used to describe a modern product with a retro feel.
Visitors to the pop-up exhibition and store will also receive free postcards and stickers.
"We plan to focus on providing new cultural content that everyone can relate to, not just promoting brands and products," a KBO official said in a statement. "We expect the KBO League to reach younger consumers as lifestyle-oriented content, not just sports."
The KBO was founded in 1982 with six professional teams. Today the league has grown to 10 clubs — five of which were part of that original lineup — playing nationwide in a 144-game league, with the top five clubs advancing to the playoffs each year. The SSG Landers are currently pacing the KBO as the league passes the midway point.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]