LG nets Iraqi soccer deal

South Korean electronics giant LG has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with the Iraqi Football Association.

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By  Steve Wrelton Published  May 21, 2006

South Korean electronics giant LG has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with the Iraqi Football Association. The deal, which the company refused to put a cash value on, will see LG providing the association with much-needed financial support for the Iraqi national and Olympic football teams. As well as helping them to participate in international tournaments, LG will organise practice sessions in Jordan and provide equipment and training facilities. Speaking at the signing of the contract in Dubai, the president of LG Electronics in the Middle East and Africa, KW Kim, said the deal reflected the brand’s ongoing commitment to Iraqi football. “Despite tremendous difficulties, Iraqi football has made major strides over the last two years, and we are determined to see that this good work continues,” said Kim. “LG has a great relationship with football, and the ongoing LG Cup is the largest corporate sports event of its type in the region. We have reached thousands of football fans across the Middle East and Africa, and our renewed sponsorship will hopefully see the joy of football touch more people’s lives in Iraq.” LG began its sponsorship of the team in 2004 after the team’s impressive performance at the Athens Olympics where it managed to reach the quarter-finals. Hamad Malik, director of marketing and corporate communications for LG in the Middle East and Africa, said that renewal of the deal was part of LG’s ongoing sports marketing and corporate social responsibility programmes. “It gives us a platform from where we can touch the hearts of the Iraqi people,” Malik said. “There are thousands of ways of exposing your brand to potential customers, but there are few companies who can think of something like this where their marketing investment is making a difference for the betterment of a team and giving people something to smile and cheer about — that is our biggest motivator.” Malik said that despite the present security situation in the country, LG viewed Iraq as an important market of the future. He said: “Besides Saudi, in normal circumstances Iraq would be a very attractive market. The current circumstances are not helping, but the thing is that the country has huge and immense potential. “The people are very tech-savvy and there is a high literacy rate. “We hope that as things stabilise, Iraq will become a very important market for LG.” Kim and Malik were joined at the signing by the Iraqi national captain, Razzak Farhan, and president of the Iraq Football Association, Hussain Mohammed. “LG’s sponsorship has helped us overcome many practical difficulties in rejuvenating Iraq football at all levels of the sport, and it has got many people talking about Iraq football once again here in the region and around the world,” said Mohammed. The Iraqi team is currently preparing for the 2008 Asian Cup qualifiers.

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