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Coach Park a game changer for South Korean products

By Minh Nga   December 26, 2018 | 08:23 pm PT
Coach Park a game changer for South Korean products
Park Hang-seo, the South Korean coach of the Vietnamese men's national football team, waves at fans after Vietnam is crowned AFF Cup champion on December 15 in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
The success of Vietnamese men’s football team under coach Park Hang-seo has been a fillip for South Korean products.

A three-day sales promotion event held in Ho Chi Minh City by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) just two days before the AFF Cup final on December 15 attracted more than 15,000 visitors.

The day before the final match, which saw Vietnam beat Malaysia, sales had reached 15 million won ($13,340), but winning the cup saw the figure soar in a day to 25 million won ($22,200), KOTRA reported.

South Korean convenience store chain GS25 told Korea Times that its revenue rose 12.1 percent after Vietnam advanced to the semifinals of the AFF Cup.

The Park Hang-seo effect has not stopped at South Korean products. The banking sector is reaping its benefits, too, and Shinhan Bank is a name that cannot be missed in this context.

Even before Vietnam became AFF Suzuki Cup champions, Shinhan Bank Vietnam, which had chosen Park as its brand ambassador since April, saw the number of customers in Vietnam rising from one million in March to 1.2 million by December 10.

The number of customers using its internet banking service jumped from 124,000 to 180,000 during the period, according the Vietnam News Agency.

The bank has said it expects "significant growth" following the team winning the AFF Cup, riding on the Park fever.

In September, The Chosun had reported that South Korea’s Dong-A Pharmaceutical "is getting a huge boost in Vietnam" thanks to Park Hang-seo.

Since Dong-A put the image of Park on advertisements for its Bacchus energy drink, the company has experienced game-changing business results in Vietnam.

Dong-A first launched Bacchus in Vietnam in the early 2000s but stopped selling it as it struggled to compete against local rivals.

By late September, three months after it rolled out a new 250ml can with Park's photo and autograph on it, Dong-A has sold about 1.66 million cans of Bacchus for revenues of around 1 billion won ($890,000), according to The Chosun.

Park, 59, became the head coach of the men’s national and U23 football teams in November last year, and the latter became runners-up at the Asian U23 Championship for the first time in January.

Then, the Olympic team, mostly comprising players from the U23 team, qualified for the semi-finals of the 2018 Asian Games for the first time in the nation’s history. They finished fourth.

The AFF Suzuki Cup victory marked the second time that Vietnam became Southeast Asian champs, after waiting for 10 years.

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