I read an interesting article in the Korean press abut KLPGA sponsorships. It said that the "big four" had long term contracts that don't expire this year, so the expectation was that the market for sponsorships would be quiet this year (they defined the big four as Min Ji Park, Hee Jeong Lim, Hyun Kyung Park and Ha Na Jang).
However, as it turns out, there is a ton of interest being generated in the next level of stars, so stay tuned, we might see some big annnouncements in the coming weeks.
Jae Hee Kim is a particular prize. They are predicting she will get more than 300 million won for her hat (they define 300 million as the cut off that separates the "Class A" stars from the next level). The rumor is that the chairman of the unnamed company that wants her told his minions to get her "no matter what you have to offer (!)". She is considered prime because of her developing skill and singular ability to connect with fans through social media.
Another player who might hit the 300 million mark is Da Been Heo, who is said to attract a lot of interest whenever she (increasingly) appears on broadcasts. Her current company Samil is really interested in holding on to her, but there are at least two other companies bidding for her.
Su Ji Kim and Jung Min Lee will probably re-sign with their current sponsors, although they will probably get a raise due to their results in 2021. Su Ji, who won twice, might be looking at a 'jackpot' contract of 400 million+, which is also the range Na Rin An was looking at (not sure if she got it).
KLPGA ratings are as high as they've ever been, and the fact that the tournament is shown for four+ hours over four days gives the sponsors a lot of exposure. There are several new companies looking to start their own "teams" as well, so we might be seeing some new logos on hats this year.
"With this sponsorship contract, Hae Ran will wear a hat and top with the logo of KTB Financial Group and affiliates from this season to compete."
Hae Ran said, "As much as you have decided to sponsor me because you highly valued my future, I will not lose my steadfastness and will continue to work hard in the game. And I will show you a wonderful image as a member of the KTB family. Please support me a lot.”
Lee Byung-cheol, chairman of KTB Financial Group, said, "Professional Hae-ran Yoo is young and has excellent skills, and she is a player with high expectations for the future. We will spare no effort to support Ran, both physically and mentally, so that she can grow into a world-class player beyond the domestic market.”
The first free agent hit the market and is off the market in a flash ... I must be getting punchy; couldn't remember what she was bagging at Olympic (article below has details on that) ... let's see what happens to her GIR after dumping Miura irons ... maybe something, maybe nothing.
A bit sad to see that strange International Container Terminal Services logo relegated to her shirt, but Callaway is a big leap up in prestige, no doubt! And I guess it's nice that the Philippines-based services company still supports her after she chose Japan as her country.
Hong Kong Park signed up a brand called Sleep & Sleep ... per Google mush:
Sleep & Sleep provides customized bedding in consideration of body type, sleep type, and sleeping habits by professionally analyzing Park Hyun-kyung's sleeping environment in cooperation with the Yvesari Sleep Environment Research Institute.
Is Mr. Kaboom Baby trying to scoop up HKP for 2022? I see no announcements on the PXG/Korea website, but it would make a lot of sense since its only big-name KLPGA staffer is Iron Cho. A Korean club fitter below says they put a TPT Red Range shaft into a PXG 0811X GEN4 driver for her. Meanwhile, she is still listed on the Bridgestone/Korea website.
Btw, The Old Ko is still listed on the PXG/Korea website ... which might be an oversight as she is no longer on the PXG/USA website.