Korean firms seek to capitalize on Qatar World Cup

Hyundai Motor, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and other Korean companies are trying to capitalize on this year’s FIFA World Cup as a chance to bolster brand awareness and increase sales of their devices through promotions, according to the companies, Sunday.

The FIFA World Cup football tournament is one of the largest international sports events. The quadrennial event takes place in the Middle Eastern country Qatar from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, featuring 32 national teams from around the world.

Among Korean companies, Hyundai Motor is the most active company as the automotive giant is the only company here that officially sponsors the showpiece football tournament.

The company has sponsored the World Cup for the past 23 years. At the World Cup in Qatar, the carmaker aims to strengthen its eco-friendly brand image by providing electric and fuel-cell vehicles for official use.

For this year’s event, the company will play the role of a sustainability partner, conducting a carbon-neutral marketing campaign called “Goal of the Century.”

During the tournament, the company will offer a total of 592 vehicles, including 422 passenger cars and 170 commercial vehicles. Half of the passenger cars are electric cars and hybrid cars such as the IONIQ 5 and the Santa Fe Hybrid and the Sonata Hybrid while 10 fuel cell-powered buses will run throughout Qatar.

Hyundai said this is the first World Cup to operate eco-friendly cars as official vehicles at the prestigious football tournament.

“We expect everyone to make a better tomorrow together through the power of solidarity through the sport of football. This is the common goal shared by Hyundai Motor and FIFA in this year’s World Cup,” a spokesman of Hyundai Motor said.

Samsung and LG, the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 TV makers, are also using the World Cup as a chance to sustain their falling TV sales. Traditionally, big sports events like the FIFA World Cup have increased global demand for quality TVs thanks to billions of football fans who want to enjoy the world’s top-tier competition in high quality.

To meet the demand for new TVs, Samsung Electronics launched a sale event in Korea starting this month. At the sales event, which will run until the end of November,Samsung is offering discounts for its top-quality TVs such as the Neo QLED 8K and giving free gifts with purchases.

In the United States and Europe, the company has also started its World Cup and Black Friday promotions. Its U.S. branch has discounted up to $2,000 off of Neo QLED 8K TVs and has sold home appliances at a discount of up to 30 percent.

LG Electronics is also conducting a sales event in the Korean market. The company is conducting promotions that give twice as many loyalty points to consumers who buy its OLED, QNED and NanoCell TVs. Its U.S. branch offers up to a 30 percent discount on OLED TVs for Black Friday.

The company expects that the FIFA World Cup and Black Friday sales promotional events will boost TV sales, which have been sluggish this year.

“The OLED TV market is expected to grow in sales as the World Cup and Black Friday peak season promotions are underway this year, based on the successful experience of OLED TVs by core distribution during the peak season in the fourth quarter of last year,” Lee Jeong-hee, vice president of LG Electronics’ HE division said during a conference call for the third quarter on Oct. 28.


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