Friday, November 23, 2007

KBO hits a snag with STX, Hyundai Unicorns are without a sponsor


STX, a large Korean construction conglomerate, was originally planned to assume ownership and sponsorship of one of Korea's proudest franchises, the Hyundai Unicorns. Talks were officially ended yesterday with the KBO withdrawing its offer. It sounds like STX wanted to increase its visibility, but at the same time they were hit with a corporate scandal. It's not the best time for them to be advertising. This is the second time the Unoicorns have failed to find a new corporate sponsor. Unless the KBO can drum up another sponsor, it looks like they will have to foot the bill for Hyundai again. We're maybe five steps away from the "Chico's Bail Bonds Unicorns."

The KBO needs to find a way to make its product profitable again. Interest in Korean baseball is at an all time low. Part of this is due to the rise in popularity of soccer and part of this is due to inept management.

How to fix the problem? Good question. Teams really can't relocate, this is a small country. Cutting ticket prices won't help, they can't get much lower. More give aways and in-game contests can't really happen, they do plenty of this at ballgames. The KBO needs to market itself better and speed up the games. 4 hour snooze fests are no way to get people to your ballpark even if you have cheap soju. I've never seen a league market itself as poorly as the KBO. There I times I wonder how committed they are to having a league that isn't just an advertisement for the corporations that run it.

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