Sports to Korea

Trends and opportunities

The market

The Republic of Korea’s (ROK, also known as South Korea) efforts to expand sport from the domain of elite athletes to a health and recreational pursuit for everyone is set to drive growth in the nation’s A$38 billion sports industry.

Since the establishment of the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, the South Korean Government has begun promoting sport as a path to health and happiness in its schools and communities.

In 2014 the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) announced a new plan under the name of Sport Vision 2018. The Sport Vision 2018 goals are:

  • To expand sporting activities and increase participation by the public sport to 60 per cent by 2017.
  • Maintain athletic performance and increase contributions through bids to host major sporting events.
  • Grow the industry to A$60 billion by 2017.
  • Increase and create 28 thousand new job opportunities in the sector by 2017.

(Source: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST)).

Popular sports

Taekwondo is the representative national sport of South Korea. Other popular sports include baseball, basketball, football, and golf. The country’s Olympic teams have also traditionally performed strongly in archery, shooting, badminton, table tennis, fencing, weightlifting, boxing, judo, short track speed skating, taekwondo, kumdo, wrestling as well as handball and field hockey.

The popularity of the above sports open opportunities for Australian companies in the below sectors:

  • sport training and technologies
  • sport related goods and services
  • sport apparel and equipment.

(Source: Korea Institute of Sport and Science (KISS)) .

Major sporting events

In recent years South Korea has hosted various major sporting events. The country will continue to proactively bid for international sporting events in an effort to promote its national brand around the world.

Major events hosted in South Korea to date:

Upcoming major sporting events:

Events under bidding:

  • 2018 World Fencing Championships- Korea Candidate Country
  • 2023 World Women's Handball Championship - Applicant Country.

(Source: Korea Olympics Committee). 

Opportunities

Opportunities exist for Australian companies with capability in managing major sporting events:

commercial opportunities for non-construction products
operations / management
event staging 
culture/ceremonies. 

2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games

The 23rd Olympic Winter Games will take place on 9-25 February 2018 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, South Korea. PyeongChang is expected to host more than 26,000 participants from over 80 countries. According to the organising committee, the event will take place across 13 stadiums.

Main organisations involved:

2018 Pyeongchang Olympics OC
Gangwon Province  
Korea Olympic Committee 
Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism

2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games present status:

  • Public promotion of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics Winter Games to the public is already underway through media and events.
  • The organising committee’s current focus is on completing the construction of the stadiums on schedule.
  • Seven stadiums have been completed, and six are under construction.
  • Construction is planned to be completed by 2016.
  • The committee has posted all bidding information on its official website in principle.
  • Recruitment of staff in event management, operations, facility and transportation management, protocol, broadcasting, media, translation, and IT Security for 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics Committee was completed in August 2015.
  • All non-construction related products and services with a value greater than 16 million won (about A$200,000) will be determined through an international bidding process. This is in accordance with South Korean contract laws.
  • The opening closing ceremonies tender for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was announced on the 8th August 2016. The tender was open to South Korean companies as well as international companies.

(Source: Gangwon Province,  2018 Pyeongchang Olympics OC).

Contact details

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:

  • develop international markets
  • win productive foreign direct investment
  • promote international education
  • strengthen Australia's tourism industry
  • seek consular and passport services.

Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.