Kookmin Bank continues to mull whether to renew its sponsorship contract with figure skating star Kim Yu-na. Their contract ended in July.
As the bank in principle sponsors poor athletes and Kim now has a good income, it is considering whether it needs to keep supporting her, according sources at Kookmin.
In reality pundits say the bank cannot be sure that prolonging the contract will bring sufficient returns. After winning gold in the Vancouver Olympics, Kim announced that she will participate in only limited numbers of competitions including world championships, which means less advertising effects for sponsors.
Kookmin also feels that if Kim puts more emphasis on commercial events such as ice shows, people might be less impressed by her performance.
A longtime sponsor, Kookmin Bank signed a sponsorship contract with Kim in 2006 when she first came to public notice in Korea.