Professional football was born exactly 40 years ago today. 

The K-League took its first step in history under the name of ‘Super League’ on May 8, 1983 at Dongdaemun Stadium in Seoul with a match between Hallelujah and Yugong. 

By today’s standards, it was difficult to see the Super League as a complete professional at the time. In the first year of its launch, only two clubs were professional teams, Hallelujah Eagle and Merit Elephant. In addition, the Super League started with a total of five teams, including Daewoo Royals, Pohang Steel Dolphins, and Kookmin Bank Magpie. 

Professional baseball, which was launched in 1982, started with a clear connection for each club, but professional football was different. It started without a concept of hometown, and there was no marketing or product production for child fans. I even heard the word ‘wandering theater’ as I moved from city to city and held competitions. The stadium was filled with cloud spectators, but most of them were not loyal fans of the professional team they were rooting for, but rather people who came to the stadium to watch the national team players play. 

Over the past 40 years, professional football has, of course, developed its own football performance, but more than that, it has made remarkable progress in league management and marketing. 

Currently, the K-League is operated with a system of 25 teams across the first and second divisions. 

Kwon Oh-gap, president of the Korea Professional Football Federation (FFI), announced the goal of “making 2023 the first year of the K-League’s leap forward” in his New Year’s address in January of this year, which marked the 40th anniversary of the K-League. To this end, the ▲ 40th anniversary with fans, ▲ the establishment of a financial soundness system, ▲ the increase in the value of the K-League industry, ▲ the improvement of the fun and level of the game, and ▲ the expansion of the soccer base were presented as key tasks for 2023. 

If so, how far is the federation progressing with the key initiatives set out at the beginning of the year? 

First, they actively participated in fan participation and communication. 200 fans were directly invited to the opening media day, and fans were also allowed to directly participate in the selection of inductees into the K-League Hall of Fame, which was established this year. 

Also, the K-League financial consolidation system, which has been prepared for the past two years, is scheduled to begin this year. The financial soundness system maintains an appropriate ratio of the part of the club’s total budget invested in the team and the part invested in the club’s self-sufficiency, such as youth, marketing, and infrastructure. 

The federation has already started its first management disclosure in 2013 and has disclosed the percentage of paid spectators and the unit price of spectators. Going one step further, through this year’s financial soundness system, the club is trying to improve the K-League club’s financial condition by establishing a reasonable budget and managing expenses. 

It is also a long-term task to create a sustainable growth structure by increasing the value of the K-League industry. Recently, the K-League is trying to quickly adapt to changes in the media environment by repeating various attempts, such as establishing its own media center, operating K-League-centered sports channels, and launching overseas OTT services.

Starting this year, professional soccer made an unprecedented attempt to conduct exclusive broadcasting through a paid online video service (OTT) for the first time in domestic professional sports through a partnership with Coupang Play. The quality of broadcasting has been improved by using 17 cameras on site, and popular celebrity on-site interviews and preview shows are well received by fans.

In addition, to spread the fun and level of the game, content토토사이트 using various additional data is created and released to the media and fans. We offer new things to see and do.

Chungbuk Cheongju FC and Cheonan City FC’s new participation in K-League 2 this year is also part of their efforts to expand the base. Through this, a system of 12 K-League 1 and 13 K-League 2 teams was established. The K-League does not stop at the operation of professional teams, but also continues to promote youth football in the related region and local activities by mandating the operation of the youth development system for clubs. 

The ‘crowd warming’ of this season is also noteworthy. A total of 619,168 spectators visited the stadium until round 10 of the K-League 1, with an average spectator of 10,319, far more than twice the average spectator of 3,991 spectators until round 10 last year. This is a remarkable figure considering that the average number of spectators has never exceeded 10,000 until the 10th round since 2013, when the promotion and relegation system was introduced.

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