Go to contents

Lee Sang-min Effect

Posted August. 24, 2007 07:29,   


Lee Sang-min, one of the most famous basketball players in Korean pro league history, often says, “I will retire after winning five championships.” He has already won three, the most among professional players.

Lee, however, is in his mid-thirties. He still tops the popularity votes in all-star games, but he feels different as he ages. This is why he has renewed his determination this year when he changed his team into Seoul Samsung Thunders, which may be the last team of his basketball life.

“I will play on the court in the same way that I live up to the expectation of my fans. Of course, I will do my best to win, but I am very pleased to have the fans’ great support.”

To date, Lee has felt his fan support now more than any time. He realized the support was out there when he changed his team from KCC to Samsung.

Samsung’s Internet site had only 7,000 subscribers for more than a decade. The figure is expected to exceed 10,000 only two months after Lee’s joining Samsung. The number of Samsung season ticket supporters was only 246 during last season; the number has risen to 589 as of August 23. More than 70 percent of supporters asked for No.11 –Lee’s number- on the backs of the uniform jerseys that are given only to season ticket supporters.

Lee had mixed reactions, saying, “I am grateful for the unwavering support of fans. On the other hand, I feel a little bit pressured. I should do better; my wife has also worried about this.”

However, he said he would do his best on and off the court as long as he is with his fans.

He willingly accepted the offer to become the 5th Hi Seoul Marathon promotion ambassador. The marathon will be held at the center of Seoul, the home ground of Samsung. The Seoul festival will run along the Cheonggyecheon and the Han River on October 7.

Lee will participate in the marathon with Ahn Jun-ho, Samsung’s coach, and other players: Kang Hyeok, Lee Gyu-seop, and Lee Jung-seok. He will hold a meeting with fans and spend time giving his fans autographs afterwards.

“That will be a good opportunity to meet Seoul fans face-to-face for the first time and to show them my new uniform.”

For those who want to participate in the marathon, the first 10,000 applicants will be accepted through the website: www.hiseoulmarathon.co.kr. For more information, call 02-512-2578 or 2579.