By Cho, Hyun-jin
Sustainability Management Team
The 2nd World Baseball Classic (WBC) was held in March with 16 countries taking part in the tournament. Although the Korean team didn’t clinch ultimate victory, its second place finish reaffirmed that Korea, which won the baseball gold at the Beijing Olympics, is an emerging baseball powerhouse.
Kia Motors has played a part in advancing baseball in Korea as the sponsor of the Kia Tigers professional baseball team which has won the national championship more times than any other team in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). Founded as a KBO charter member in 1982, the Kia Tigers have won the Korean Series nine times to date.
An interesting point is that Kia Motors’ new “family look” (radiator grille) conjures up an image of a “tiger’s nose.” The tiger was not the initial model for this powerful design. Our intent was to create a DNA unique to Kia Motors. And after much thought and time, the “family look” was completed.
Although it wasn’t intentional, we ended up with the “tiger.” This suggests that a special link exists between the tiger and Kia.
I mentioned baseball at the start because my colleagues and I went to see a game recently for KIA Tigers Day. Kia Tigers Day, which launched in 2008 as part of the “New Kia” campaign. On this day, employees at the worksite level go see a Kia Tigers game and cheer on the team.
The game I saw took place on June 17. It was the second in a 3-game series against the league’s No.1 team. Although it was an away game for the Kia Tigers, it wasn’t much different from playing on home turf. The stadium was packed with Tigers fans.
Unfortunately, the Tigers lost 5 to 4. But I had a great time cheering them on with my colleagues. (Of note, Kia won the next day to take the series 2 to 1.)
The Tigers didn’t have a good year in 2008, so there was only one official outing to the stadium. But this year, I hope we’ll get a chance to hold another Kia Tigers Day in the fall. (The Kia Tigers are currently ranked 3rd in the league).
Kia Tigers website: http://www.tigers.co.kr/