Last week, CIEE students and I got the chance to watch a baseball game at the Jamsil Sports Complex. The Jamsil Sports Complex is an arena that holds sports game events and concerts. The facilities were created to host the 10th Asian Games and the Summer Olympics.
My Seoulmate is a fan of the Hanwha Eagles, a professional baseball team, so we went to see a match between the LG Twins and the Hanwha Eagles. One of the interesting things I noticed during the game was that each player on the baseball team had their own chant and dance, which the fans followed along with. There were also cheerleaders who would lead the crowd and do their own performances throughout the game.
It seemed that most people in the stadiums were long-term fans as most wore their team’s merchandise, which ranged from jerseys to headbands, and knew each player by their name. Several people yelled out their favorite player’s name throughout the game to support their team and encourage them to win. The fans normally followed along to the dances and cheered on their team’s players, especially the newest member on their team, before they pitched the ball for each player.
Another interesting thing I learned about South Korean baseball is that several large brands have their own baseball team, including Samsung, Hyundai, and Kia. The ads for these companies could also be seen through posters and billboards in the area. Although the brands are a significant aspect of the team’s image, the mascot of each team stood out to me. The mascots for each team stood out because they could be seen on the fan’s headbands and on the screen that showed the team’s score. The scoreboard usually showed a short animation of each mascot. The screen also showed information on each player such as their name, role, and picture.
I enjoyed the experience of watching baseball in South Korea as it was very interactive and I was able to continue learning about Korean brands and history.