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Loan company and professional volleyball team

Posted December. 13, 2013 07:33,   


Apro Financial Group is the parent company of a new men’s professional volleyball team called “Ansan Rush & Cash Vespid.” The company is better known for its brand “Rush & Cash.”

The no.1 loan company in Korea was the naming sponsor of Dream Six (now Woori Card), which was under the Korea Volleyball Federation, since it had no parent company last season. Rush & Cash invested in the team 1.7 billion won (1.62 million U.S. dollars) but it found that it had bigger benefits. Thanks to a better achievement than expected, Rush & Cash tried to take over Dream Six in March this year, but to no avail. Instead, it created a new team.

More than 1,800 people applied for just 80 openings of the company`s first half of this year. In the second half of the year, the average number of applicants per one job opening was 20. According to Rush & Cash, it hired graduates from Korea’s top tier universities of Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University as well as prestigious universities around the world. It was partly due to the high unemployment rate but having a professional team had a positive impact, said the company source. Korea’s leading financial institutions such as Samsung Fire & Marine, Hyundai Capital, and LIG Insurance have men’s professional volleyball teams. As Rush & Cash can compete with these financial institutions on a level playing field in the court, people’s negative perception on loan companies has changed a lot. A source from the company said, “After sponsorship, more people applied for our company and the applicants have much better qualifications. In addition, employees have more affection for the company because they root for the same team. We’ve earned a lot from the volleyball team.”

Rush & Cash is not alone in sports marketing. Korea Yakult also says its sponsorship for this year’s professional baseball title has increased consumers’ preference by 23.8 percent, and increased the brand awareness of its flagship product “SEVEN” by 38.2 percent. Nexen Tire, a naming sponsor of the Heros, a professional baseball team, renewed the contract for another two years since the company found that it was cost effective.

Being a sponsor and being an owner are very different. Being an owner costs multiple times more and must be responsible for many things. It is not easy without the idea that it contributes to society with sports.

When Rush & Cash tried to acquire Dream Six, some owners expressed their discomfort. They said how can the “consumer loan business” or the “money lender” run a team like a conglomerate with responsibilities. Some people expected, “It will quit after a few seasons if the team does not perform well.”

Nobody knows whether the Rush & Cash team will disappear soon or take root like other existing teams. One thing for sure is that the company extended the life span of the volleyball team, which was about to disappear, and also created a new team to generate jobs and increased the popularity of professional volleyball. People are interested in both how Rush & Cash that jumped into the area where conglomerates used to dominate and how its team will play out.