More than 10 advertising and sponsorship deals await Kim Yu-na, who won the gold at the International Skating Union's Four Continents Championships. She earned W4 billion (US$1=W1,382) through advertising last year alone, and is expected to make near W10 billion this year.
An industry watcher said, "Her value will jump 1.5 times at the end of the year before the Winter Olympics next February, when she renews her sponsorship and advertising contracts."
The teenage skating sensation earns approximately W500 million per commercial. The industry watcher said, "A commercial runs for about six months, so a company pays W1 billion for advertising a year." She earns W200-300 million through name licenses such as Kim Yu-na bread and necklaces. Her agency IB Sports said, "We rejected about 30 contracts that she was offered after the International Skating Union's Four Continents Championships," but added Kim may agree to another two or three contracts for name license because they make no demands on her time.
Why do businesses like Kim? A staffer with Cheil Worldwide said, "When things are difficult, people want to hear hopeful news. For example, Pak Se-ri drew attention in the financial crisis in 1997 and national football coach Guus Hiddink became popular during the credit card crisis in 2002. As gloomy news about the recession pour out, consumers are becoming frenzied about Kim as a symbol of hope."