Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the distinguished French professional football team in Ligue 1, marked an exceptional moment on December 3, 2023, by donning limited edition jerseys featuring South Korean lettering. This historic move came as a tribute to their South Korean player, Lee Kang-in, who has been instrumental in boosting the team's popularity, especially within the South Korean fanbase.
Embracing the South Korean Influence
The limited-edition kits were sported during their 2-0 victory over Le Havre in the 14th round of the Ligue 1 championship. Even star player Kylian Mbappe was seen wearing the jersey, which had his name engraved in Korean. The initiative was not merely a nod to Lee Kang-in's impressive performance, but also an acknowledgment of the extensive South Korean fanbase that has contributed to a significant 20% increase in attendance at Parc des Princes Stadium. This surge in popularity is further evidenced by the high sales of Lee's jerseys, which have even managed to surpass those of the much-celebrated player, Kylian Mbappe.
Lee Kang-in: A Star Rising
PSG acquired Lee Kang-in for $24 million from Real Mallorca following his noteworthy stint with the Spanish team. The South Korean player's rise to prominence has been meteoric, both in his home country and Asia at large. His contributions to the South Korean national team, including their second-place achievement at the U20 World Cup and a gold medal at the Asian Games, have solidified his standing as a key influencer in the world of football.
PSG's Strategic Move
Beyond the pitch, PSG's decision to wear the Korean-marked jerseys also signals their intent to expand their influence in the Asian market. South Korea has emerged as their second-largest market after France, and the timing of the match was cleverly adjusted to cater to South Korean fans. This strategic approach, combined with their dominant performances, including Mbappe's hat-trick in a 3-0 win against Reims and their current top position in both Ligue 1 and their Champions League group, demonstrates PSG's commitment to fostering a global fanbase while maintaining their winning streak.