The first PGA Tour Championship held in Korea, THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES (hereinafter referred to as THE CJ CUP), has become the global sports platform for proliferating Korean culture and the national brand throughout the world, and laid down the foundation for a taking a bold leap forward towards realizing ‘Global CJ.’
Up to 6,000 spectators flocked to watch THE CJ CUP, which lasted for 4 days from October 19, even on weekdays, and the organizer estimates that a total of more than 35,000 people visited the championship. The spectators, who arrived at the golf course early in the morning, watched world-class players play golf right before their eyes, and experienced various Korean menu selections and Korean brands, including the golf items and cosmetics displayed at the expo, while thoroughly enjoying the global sports festival.
▲ Lee Jay-Hyun (left), chairman of CJ Group, and Justin Thomas (right), winner of THE CJ CUP
This championship, which was broadcast to 1 billion households in 227 countries around the world, enabled CJ Group to lay down the foundation for taking a bold leap forward towards becoming a bonafide global enterprise. Chairman Lee Jay-Hyun stayed at the site throughout the championship and worked with PGA officials to help carry out the championship in person.
In particular, Lee Jay-Hyun made a surprise appearance during the game that was live broadcast throughout the world and introduced the vision and CSV activities of CJ Group, boosting global attention the company as a whole. “It is essential for enterprises to give back to local communities in the form of social contributions,” said the chairman who appeared during the broadcast of the 2nd round. “For example, I am very proud that CJ was selected as one of the 50 companies in Fortune magazine’s 'Change the World' in 2017 based on CJ Logistics’ Silver Parcel Delivery Service.”
“CJ Group has grown into a global lifestyle company by expanding our business into diverse areas, such as food, biotechnology, logistics and entertainment,” he said during the interview broadcast in the middle of the 4th round. “We will further expand our global business, and influence the lifestyles of people all over the world.”
- THE CJ CUP served as a ‘sports and cultural platform’
THE CJ CUP is said to have played the role of a ‘sports and cultural platform that publicizes Korea and proliferates K-Culture.
The booth of the global Korean food brand ‘bibigo,’ the main sponsor of the championship, sold all 20,000 dishes of its menu selections during the championship period. The menu features were highly popular among the spectators. In particular, ‘Abalone Gimbap,’ a limited menu item for THE CJ CUP, went viral among the spectators, and all the dishes prepared for the day were sold out each morning. Japanese spectator, Yoshitani Mishaki, said, “This is my first time watching a golf championship in Korea, and everyone in my family felt delighted because there were many things to enjoy other than the golf itself.”
Also, the ‘bibigo Gala Dinner’ on October 17, just before the opening of the championship, served royal cuisine to foreign players and PGA Tour officials so that they could enjoy the distinct taste and flavors of Korean food. On October 19, CJ launched the ' SHARE KOREAN FLAVOR’ TV ad that emphasized the health of Korean food and the convenience of bibigo, and broadcast it in 84 countries around the world, including the entire United States.
“This championship gave me an opportunity to learn a lot about Korean food, entertainment, music and history,” said Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner. “As the championship will be held in Korea for 10 years, it will be a great chance to promote bibigo and Korean around the world.”
▲ Spectators can be seen enjoying Korean food at the ‘bibigo’ booth
Domestic golf companies, which participated in the championship, realized outstanding results as well. The domestic golf brand, JDX, sold out all its caps on the first day of the competition, and its long down coats were so popular that it had to fly more of them from Seoul as they were in short supply. “THE CJ CUP enabled us to enhance our brand awareness in Korea, and provided us with an opportunity to advance into the US market as well,” said Kim Gil-Woong, director of JDX Marketing Team. “We are planning to open up two stores in the US in the first half of next year, and accelerate our efforts to make inroads into overseas markets.”
Also, ‘White Ball,’ a golf accessory maker that exclusively sold the merchandising products of the championship, worked feverishly to promote its brand as well as sell its products. Park Gwi-Geun, head of White Ball Marketing Team, said, “We don’t have many chances to publicize our brand, but our participation in a world-class championship went a long way in helping to change that.”
- Planning to continuously invest and support in the next 10 years
▲ Spectators who gathered together to watch the 4th round
The entire island of Jeju was caught up in a festive spirit. Placards and advertisements were put up not only at Jeju International Airport, but also all over Jeju, adding to the excitement of THE CJ CUP, the first PGA Tour Championship in Korea. Adding to this positive outcome, the spectators, who visited Jeju to watch the game, flocked to tourist attractions in the afternoon after the game was over, thus helping to reinvigorate the undernourished economy of Jeju.
Jason Day, who used to be ranked No. 1 in the world, and Adam Scott, who has racked up 13 PGA wins, appeared as models in a video promoting Jeju, which helped to attract public attention. Jason Day and Adam Scott enjoyed the food of Jeju and surfing in a bid to promote Jeju. This promotion video was produced in 30 languages, and aired to 1 billion households during the championship period.
“I am thrilled that the first PGA Tour Championship in Korea was so successful,” said Gyeong Wook-Ho, VP of CJ Marketing Department, who oversaw the operation of the championship. “CJ Group will continuously invest and support in the next 10 years, and raise the level of Korean men’s golf to a global standard, and help CJ establish itself as a global lifestyle company.”
THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES will be held in Korea in the next 10 years, including this season. The total prize money amounts to US$9.25 million. CJ Group will increase the prize money by US$250,000 every year to make the championship even more successful.