Golfer aids Samsung's recovery from Asian crisis

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SEOUL -- Samsung is seeing its investment in the 20-year-old golf sensation, Se Ri Pak, pay off in more ways than one, company executives say.

As her corporate sponsor, the South Korean conglomerate has benefited financially from the LPGA rookie's recent wins, but the company says the sponsorship is also "energizing" Samsung employees during a time of national economic crisis.

"Pak is a living symbol of relentless dedication and the will to succeed - qualities at the heart of Samsung," says Taeho Kim, director of corporate communications for Samsung.

"In a difficult year, Pak's victories have restored national and corporate pride among the employees of Samsung."

He adds that "thousands of Samsung employees have been tuning into television broadcasts of Pak's competitions. They are visibly moved and encouraged by her victories."

Samsung estimates $150 million in advertising benefits from the display of Samsung logos during the media bonanza that has ensued from Ms. Pak's victories and now predicts she will be worth about $1 billion to the company over the next few years.

In other sporting events, the company now sponsors 18 professional teams and eight competitions and tournaments across five continents.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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