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KPOP & Basketball: How The NBA Was Able to Sell Basketball To South Korea

At first glance, KPOP and basketball have nothing in common. Well...does it? The NBA used to be just a sport, primarily a North American sport. Since the days that Allen Iverson graced the hardwood with his cornrows and baggy sweats did it make NBA culture what it is today. Nowadays, you won't be surprised to see a fashion show players put on right before the games. So how did basketball become such a global sport? Especially in South Korea?

In 2011 the NBA inked a deal with South Korean fashion company MK Trend to create merchandise on behalf of the league and sell it to over 130 NBA stores in Korea. This strategy proved to be a success. If you've watched any KPOP music videos, what do you usually notice? Lots of bright vivid coloring right? The same with the clothing. Lots and lots of brightly colored clothing.

Got7 via Asiachan KPOP

When looking through one of these NBA stores in South Korea, you'll notice there is an assortment of styles. There are some jerseys for those really NBA fans who want to purchase their favorite player's jersey as well as for the customers who only care about fashion. You'll see many designs in these stores that are not available in typical American NBA stores.

NBA Store in South Korea. Sports Business.

Many brands from overseas are seen in South Korea but don't necessarily have the same products or marketing strategies as that from their home countries. Instead, they're adapting to the global fashion wave, using KPOP at the forefront to drive eyes onto their brands. Some examples would be Kodak and the NFL (National Football League). Kodak has been out of the digital camera conversation for years. The same with the NFL, not so popular in a country that thinks football is European football. So how were these brands able to find success in South Korea? By marketing through KPOP stars.

A Kodak store in South Korea.

NFL Store In Seoul.

So what interesting global logos/brands do you think also exist in Korea but wouldn't do so well back in their home countries? Do you think using KPOP is a good move for these brands? Let us know what you think!


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