The former Olympic figure skater Kim Yuna is dominating Korea’s ad industry during the PyeongChang Winter Games.
Kim is featured in Coca-Cola’s Olympics commercials alongside actor Park Bo-gum, as well as a host of other ads, reminding viewers of her solid standing as a top-notch model for big-time advertisers here.
(The Coca-Cola Company)
Kim Yuna models for Korean beauty brand, It's Skin. (YouTube)
Widely dubbed “Queen Yuna” or “figure queen” in Korea, Kim reaped gold in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and a silver medal in 2014 Sochi. She is revered by many Koreans as a figure skating hero, even after retiring from her athletic career following the Sochi Olympics.
Following her retirement, Kim has emerged as the darling of advertisers. According to All That Sports, Kim’s management agency, Kim is currently in advertising deals with 10 brands, including SK Telecom, KB Financial Group, It’s Skin and J. Estina.
Kim is reportedly paid some 1 billion won ($930,000) or more per ad deal. Her income for 2017 is estimated at around 15 billion won. She is likely to see her income climb further this year, thanks to her prominent appearances at the Olympic opening ceremony, according to ad industry sources.
Kim Yuna performs during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games on Feb. 9 before lighting the Olympic cauldron. (Yonhap)
Kim made a surprise appearance on figure skates during the opening ceremony, showing a brief, elegant performance on a small rink near the cauldron in front of millions of viewers worldwide. She then received the Olympic torch from two members of the Korean women’s joint hockey team, being the final bearer of the torch.
“With her positive public image strengthened by her appearance at the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, it seems that she might receive more contract offers from advertisers,” said an official from one of Kim’s clientele.
Kim has been ranked first on the brand reputation, according to the latest survey by a Korean brand research agency. Kim outsmarted other popular female singers IU and Hong Jin-young, who were ranked No. 2 and 3.
According to the agency, consumers linked Kim with keywords such as “beautiful,” “doing well” and “like.” Thanks to the positive image, Kim remains a top sports celebrity.
Kim also played a role in promoting PyeongChang so that the city could host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Kim Yuna in an advertisement for KB Insurance (YouTube)