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Banks target baseball lovers with team-tied savings offers

Fans of the NC Dinos watch their team take on the Doosan Bears in a Korea Baseball Organization League matchup in Changwon NC Park, South Gyeongsang Province, March 24. Yonhap

With the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League opening, banks are introducing specialized deposit offerings based on the performance of each baseball team. These products are designed to tap into fans’ loyalty and passion toward professional baseball, which has the largest sports fan base in the country.These initiatives are led by regional banks, which have launched product tied to the teams in their respective areas.For instance, Kwangju Bank recently began offering a deposit product themed around supporting the KIA Tigers’ quest for victory. If the team advances to the postseason, customers receive an additional interest rate boost of 0.05 percentage points. Victories in the regular season or winning the Korean Series title each add another 0.1 percentage points to the rate. This could result in a maximum annual rate of 3.85 percent.The bank described the product as a “bestseller that launches annually to coincide with the start of the baseball season.”BNK Busan Bank has been offering a deposit product tied to the performance of Lotte Giants for 18 years. Depending on how well the Lotte Giants’ perform, customers can earn up to an extra 0.6 percentage points in bonus interest rates in addition to its base rate of 3.2 percent. This year, the bank is utilizing 30 million won ($22,263) of its profits to support the development of youth baseball in Busan.

DGB Daegu Bank has also rolled out a savings and deposit product that offers customers bonus interest rates based on the Samsung Lions’ victories. The bank awards up to an additional 0.3 percentage points in annual interest, depending on the team’s achievements, in addition to its annual base rate of 4 percent for installment savings and 3.5 percent for the deposit product.Commercial banks are no exception to this trend.Shinhan Bank, a main sponsor of the KBO League since 2018, has been launching a special deposit product annually to coincide with the league’s opening. This product allows users to select one of the 10 teams participating in the league and deposit up to 500,000 won monthly for a year. This account starts with a base annual interest rate of 2.5 percent, and depending on the chosen team’s performance, customers can earn up to an additional 1.7 percentage points at this rate.Following the LG Twins’ league title last year, LG fans who participated in this scheme enjoyed a peak interest rate of 4.6 percent.The rush by banks to market products utilizing professional baseball stems from the KBO League’s overwhelming popularity in Korea. Last year, the KBO League attracted an audience of 8.1 million, which is more than double the professional football league’s audience of 3.01 million.An official from the banking industry said that baseball is expected to have a larger impact from broad exposure than other sports, thanks to its strong fan 토토사이트 loyalty.

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