Samsung considers sports sponsorship to be a vital communications tool for helping people outside Korea better understand Samsung’s corporate philosophy and values. The Olympic Games, which Samsung has sponsored since 199 7 , is the best known of these, but Samsung also supports a number of international competitions and events encompassing sports as diverse as horse riding, volleyball, golf, gymnastics and running. Since 1986 Samsung has also been a sponsor of the Asian Games, a huge sports event which attracts thousands of competitors from over 40 countries.
Local sponsor of Seoul Asian Games
National sponsor of the Seoul 1998 Olympic Games
Main sponsor of FEI/Samsung International Equestrian (Jumping and Dressage
Local sponsor of Beijing 1990 Asian Games
Local sponsor of Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games
Sponsor of World Cup Volleyball Tournament in Japan
First Samsung Running Festival inaugurated in Hungary
Official sponsor of the Samsung World Championship women’s international golf
Title sponsor of the Samsung Expo as an unofficial sponsor of Atlanta Olympic Games;
Samsung Expo Pavilion erected beside the Main Stadium
Three-year contract (’97-’99) signed with FEI for Samsung Nations Cup (equestrian
Support for World Track Championships (Athens), Grand Prix Track Finals (Fukuoka),
International Indoor Track Championships in Budapest and the 33rd World Gymnastics
Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland
Samsung Nations Cup equestrian event starts in La Baule, France
Official Partner of Bangkok 1998 Asian Games, providing exclusive sponsorship for the
audio/visual equipment and home appliances categories
Samsung Nations Cup contract extended two more years (2000-01)
Samsung Nations Cup contract extended three more years (2002-05)
Official Partner for the Busan 2002 Asian Games as multi-category supplier (audio/visual
equipment and home appliances and wireless telecommunications equipment)
Official Partner of Daegu Universiade Games as multi-category supplier (audio/visual
equipment and home appliances and wireless telecommunications equipment)
Samsung Super League Kicked Off in La Baule in May and finished in Barcelona in
The Asian Games
First hosted in New Delhi in 1952, the Asian Games is now one of the world’s largest sporting events. Like the Olympic Games, they are held every four years to promote goodwill and friendship among the nations belonging to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
The Asian Games has grown quickly since its inception. The last event, hosted in the port of Bu s an in South Korea in 2002, attracted over 18,000 athletes, officials and journalists from 44 countries. Samsung has been directly involved with the Asian Games since 1986, when it became a local sponsor. The company has been involved in sponsorship of every Games since then, being the only Korean sponsor of the Beijing 1990 Asian Games and the Hiroshima 1994 Asian Games . Samsung was designated an Official Partner for the 13 th Bangkok Asian Games in 1998 and went on to become a multi-category Official Partner for the 14 Busan Asian Games, supplying audio-visual equipment, home appliances, and wireless telecommunications equipment.
As a multi-category sponsor, Samsung played an important role in ensuring that Asia’s largest sporting event was a resounding success. The games served as an opportunity for Samsung to engage in marketing activities aimed at boosting sales and corporate stature in the Asian region. Samsung sponsored Korea’s first torch relay program, developing marketing activities to coincide with the month-long relay that traversed the entire country, and organized numerous other events including a ‘unification marathon’ in which 5,000 people took part. It also staged various events at the Samsung PR pavilion, turning it into a venue for cross-cultural interaction. One such event, the Power of Asia program, involved assembling a group of over 65,000 people from all around Asia to cheer on participating teams.
Surveys have shown that awareness of the Samsung brand rose by over 20% on 2001 levels following Samsung’s sponsorship of the 14 th Busan Asian Games, with corresponding rises in sales and revenues.
Equestrian Sports: The Samsung Super League
Horse-riding has long been a sport supported by Samsung, which has worked hard to foster positive sporting images of humans and animals working in concert. To date, the company has co-sponsored many of the premiere equestrian events in Europe and North America; in particular the Samsung Nations Cup Series, a long-established international equestrian competition which attracts teams from all the major horse-riding nations.
To promote the oldest and most respected equestrian competition, Samsung joined forces with the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) to create the Samsung Super League, a new competition involving the eight top teams from the Nations Cup series . The Samsung Super League is effectively a world equestrian games tournament, attracting the best riders and their horses from all over the world. The inaugural season of the Samsung Super League began in May and came to a successful finish in September. Despite suffering a defeat in the final event, the victory of first season went to the French team.
Samsung has signed a sponsorship contract with the FEI that runs through 2005. The tournament will raise the profile of equestrian sports as a whole, and reinforce Samsung’s reputation as a company that supports sporting activity in many spheres.
Golf: The Samsung World Championship
The Samsung World Championship is one of the highlights of the US Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour. Noted for its inclusion of the world’s top players, the Championship has been held since 1980, with Samsung becoming its official sponsor in 1995.
The SWC is open only to the world’s best golfers, including the defending champion, the winners of the four LPGA majors and the leading money winners from the previous year’s LPGA tournament, who compete for a purse worth $US800,000. The winner qualifies for the four majors for three years and the LPGA tour for one year, making it a highly attractive event for the top players. It has also been largely responsible for the emergence of Korea as a major force in world golf; in 1999, Se Ri Pak won the tournament in a field of 20 international players, boosting Korea’s reputation as a golfing nation.
In 2003, the SWC was broadcast live by ESPN-NBC in America, Star Sports in Asia and on other influential channels throughout the world. Played in Texas, where Samsung has a presence in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, the event has had a positive effect on Samsung’s image in the local community and is now widely regarded as the ‘fifth major’. Samsung has signed a contract that extends its sponsorship of the tournament into 2006.
Athletics: Running Festivals
The first Samsung Running Festival was originally conceived in 1995 as part of the celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Samsung’s launch in Hungary. The company’s efforts were rewarded with the participation of 80,000 Hungarian citizens, and today the Samsung Running Festival has established itself as a truly global event in which hundreds of thousands people take part all over the world. By 1997 39 cities in central and eastern Europe were hosting running events, with 250,000 participants; and in 1998, simultaneous events were held in Beijing, New Delhi and Bangkok, with Samsung donating $1 for every runner to respective National Olympic Committees. Since then Running Festivals have been held as far apart as Australia, Russia and America.
Based on a 5-kilometre non-competitive mini-marathon, the Running Festivals are open to anyone of any age. Designed to be more than just a race, each event is held in the spirit of co-operation between people of different cultures and beliefs and the blurring of geographical boundaries. Runners come from all walks of life; renowned athletes, socially prominent individuals, average citizens and young children all take part alongside one another. An associated fundraising program helps to generate financial support for a wide variety of good causes and national sports programs.
Crufts Dog Show
Crufts is the world most famous and prestigious dog show, with more than 20,000 top pedigree dogs competing from over 30 countries. Samsung has been the sole sponsor of the show since 1993, supplying all the remote-controlled video equipment and electronic systems needed to run the event.
Samsung has a substantial presence at the show, including an area devoted to the company’s animal protection activities. Samsung established Korea’s first guide dog training facility to assist blind people. It also trains rescue dogs, dogs that help people with rehabilitation, and supports PAT (Pet as Therapy) programs.