NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers have signed a five-year partnership with Bibigo, a South Korean food company best known for its dumplings.
Why it matters: Bibigo is a brand under CJ CheilJedang, which hails itself as “Korea’s No. 1 food company.” The deal, reported to be worth over $100 million, marks the Lakers’ first-ever international partnership.
- Per the agreement, Bibigo’s logo will be featured on the Lakers’ jerseys beginning in the 2021-22 season. It will be on a patch on the front left shoulder opposite the Nike logo.
- The partnership comes with a large-scale integrated marketing program which will include courtside branding in the form of baseline courtside apron and rotational LED signage. There will also be social and digital fan-focused campaigns.
- Bibigo and the Lakers will also collaborate on various community initiatives in Los Angeles and outside the U.S. through basketball court refurbishment projects and local community efforts. These initiatives include the Lakers’ “In the Paint” fine art program, which will showcase original work of BIPOC artists, and the Lakers’ Global Mural series campaign, which will feature Lakers-themed mural artwork around the world.
- Wookho Kyeong, the chief marketing officer of CJ CheilJedang, described the partnership as “a connection of two ‘global culture icons’ of food and sports.” “The Lakers are the No. 1 team in sports. The Lakers are more than just a basketball team. The Lakers, globally, are a cultural icon, especially for young people,” Kyeong said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
About Bibigo: Bibigo, which is located in Seoul, sells mandu (dumplings), bulgogi (a Korean “meat dish”), jang (sauce and paste) and kimchi, among other products. Kyeong said the company aims to emerge as a “global food brand.”
- The brand’s name combines the Korean word “bibim” (“mixing”), which represents the “balance and harmony of different elements,” and the English word “go,” which represents the “will of bibigo to lead the globalization of Korean food.” Their logo is inspired by bibimbap (a Korean mixed rice dish) and is the silhouette of a hot stone bowl with a spoon and a pair of chopsticks.
- Bibigo products are created in a smart factory in Jincheon, Chungbuk province. The factory, which utilizes “automated digital solutions, the latest ICT technology and innovative techniques,” is capable of producing up to 120,000 tons of frozen food, processed meat and cooked rice per year.
- Tim Harris, the Lakers’ president of business operations, said the team is thrilled to have Bibigo as its first-ever global marketing partner. “As Korea’s leading food brand, Bibigo is always looking for opportunities to innovate and expand their brand, and the Lakers are excited to help them to not only expand their global recognition, but to provide the opportunity to reach new fans,” Harris said.
The Lakers will wear their Bibigo-branded jerseys for the first time at their pre-season game against the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 3 at Staples Center.