South Korean food giant CJ CheilJedang Corp.’s Bibigo brand has become the first global sponsor for Los Angeles Lakers at the invitation of the pro basketball team.
CJ CheilJedang announced on Wednesday that its frozen dumpling and sauce brand Bibigo signed a five-year partnership deal with the LA Lakers to become the basketball team’s first-ever global marketing partner. Financial terms were not officially disclosed.
Under the partnership, CJ will feature the Bibigo logo on the Lakers jerseys beginning with the upcoming 2021/22 season and mount various online and offline marketing programs, including courtside branding at Staples Center, and social and digital campaigns. The Lakers have about 60 million followers on social media—the most of any NBA team, and more than the population of South Korea.
CJ hopes to promote Bibigo as a global mega-brand by leveraging on the Lakers’ global fandom.
Founded in 2010, Bibigo is the No.1 instant dumpling seller in the U.S. market commanding an over 40 percent market share. Its annual sales, which topped 100 billion won ($84.37 million) in 2016, skyrocketed to over 400 billion won last year.
In 2018, CJ acquired major U.S. food distributor Schwan’s Company to secure growth momentum for its global business. The number of its production bases in California, New York, New Jersey and Ohio quadrupled to 21 and it has recently set a 562,000-square-meter site in South Dakota to add a new dumpling factory.
The food company has also secured sales channels to distribute Bibigo products at more than 30,000 stores of major local name retailers, including Walmart, Kroger and Costco.
Shares of CJ CheilJedang are trading up 0.35 percent at 432,500 won in morning trading on Thursday.
By Kim Hyo-hye and Lee Soo-min
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