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Internal workforce, symbolism and licensed products: 17th Asian Games

Hyun-Woo Lee (Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University College Station, College Station, Texas, USA)
Umer Hussain (Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University College Station, College Station, Texas, USA)
Shawn Saeyeul Park (School of Business, Yonsei University, Seodaemun-gu, Republic of Korea)
Sunyun Shin (Department of Sports and Leisure Studies, Yonsei University, Seodaemun-gu, Republic of Korea)
Woo Taek Shim (GLAXIA SM CO, LTD, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Publication date: 16 March 2021


Learning outcomes

The questions raised in the case study could escort a classroom or online discussion for understanding licensed product consumption motives among the internal workforce.

Case overview/synopsis

Despite the Asiad (an abbreviation of Asian Games) being organized in the most populous continent, its financial profitability is minimal compared with the summer Olympic Games and other major sporting events. Thereby, Asiad board members are seeking to understand how they can target the right segment via licensed products. This will ultimately increase licensed product sales. On July 1, 2017, a board meeting was held in which the licensing product manager, Young Lee, proposed to target the internal workforce via licensed products based on 17th Asiad’s data and previous literature. Lee analyzed the attributes of licensed products sold at 17th Asiad and its psychological connection with the internal workforce. Hence, the purpose of this case study was to decipher the internal workforce feasibility as the right segment to target via licensed products for Asiad's management. The case study’s primary data was collected via IB worldwide (now Galaxia SM CO, Ltd), one of the leading sport marketing organizations in South Korea. The IB worldwide (now Galaxia SM CO, Ltd) signed an exclusive product license agreement with the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee jointly and individually with the Olympic Council of Asia to produce licensed products (e.g. Mascot dolls). This realistic case study should be understood through the lens of symbolic interactionism. Finally, this study is important to consider because the internal workforce licensed products consumption has gained little attention in sports marketing literature.

Complexity Academic Level

The case can be taught in marketing research and consumer behavior courses.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Lee, H.-W., Hussain, U., Park, S.S., Shin, S. and Shim, W.T. (2021), "Internal workforce, symbolism and licensed products: 17th Asian Games", , Vol. 11 No. 1.



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