Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lee Is Key for Spurs in the Lucrative Far East

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lee Is Key for Spurs in the Lucrative Far East

Article excerpt

Byline: RAOUL SIMONS

TOTTENHAM'S capture of former Korean soldier Lee Young-Pyo makes sense on two fronts. The 28-year-old, who was this week signed for [pounds sterling]2million from PSV Eindhoven, is regarded by coach Martin Jol as the best left-back in Holland so his arrival will clearly improve the team.

But there is also a strong business case for using Lee as a means to maintain the club's solid profile in South Korea following their summer victory in the Peace Cup.

The deal illustrates the growing convergence between football and sports marketing and follows on from recent attempts by Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal to foster lucrative links with the Far East.

Spurs won many fans in South Korea as a result of their performances in the Peace Cup but their only player recognisable to the locals was backup striker Robbie Keane, who had played for the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup.

Stars like Jermain Defoe, Ledley King and Paul Robinson were nonentities in a country where Premiership football is hardly shown on terrestrial television.

Their anonymity stood in marked contrast to Lee, who represented PSV in the Peace Cup. His every touch was greeted with screams from Korean fans and his face featured in countless billboards and advertisements.

In their homeland, Lee and his former PSV colleague Park Ji-Sung are superstars having established themselves at Eindhoven, which now benefits from a strong Korean fanbase.

With Lee and Manchester United's Park moving to the Premiership, attention will switch to England providing Spurs and United with increased marketing opportunities in a football-mad country.

Spurs were well aware of the financial benefits of a trip to Korea when they controversially accepted an invitation-- and the cash - from a religious-cult, the Moonies, to play in the Peace Cup. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.