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S. Korea: Gov’t Fosters Sports Industry to Create Jobs
Source: /www.korea.net
Source Date: Friday, December 13, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Knowledge Management in Government, Institution and HR Management
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Dec 17, 2013

The business side of sports is growing. A new app will allow people to use an open platform, dubbed the Sports Activity Index, to record their exercise routine and calories burnt and to share sports- and health-related information. Jobs in the sports industry will increase to 270,000. Some 100 promising sports industry firms will take part in a new start-up incubator. 

All this is part of the Korean government’s recently announced five-year plan to develop the sports sector by injecting a total of KRW 53 trillion into it over the next five years. Under the plan, the government will combine sports with Korea’s advanced IT so that more people can enjoy sports in an easier, more convenient way, which will lead to the creation of new, bigger markets in the sports sector. 

To achieve this goal, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) has proposed four main strategies: create a future-oriented sports industry market by mixing IT and sports; expand potential demand for sports; incubate promising sports industry start-ups; and, create an eco-system that will support the sports industry. 

In regard to the convergence of the sports sector and IT, the culture ministry said it will develop content related to popular sports such as baseball or soccer, such as a virtual sports simulator backed by 3D or 4D technologies. This, in turn, will cause more people to enjoy sports and will create new markets. The MCST will also develop leisure tourism packages combined with local tourism and leisure activities, like skiing, golf and local festivals, in order to boost regional economies. 

To create a future-oriented sports industry market, the ministry will focus on establishing an open platform designed to provide sports related information. By using the platform on mobile devices like tablets or smartphones, people will be able to record their daily exercise and calculate how many calories they burned. They can also share sports-related information anywhere and anytime with any other type of device they may have. 

The culture ministry will publish a consumer report which contains information about the sports sector so that people can participate in and enjoy watching sports more conveniently. It will further provide a special map with a mobile interface so that users can check the locations of sports facilities nationwide through their devices. The MCST will also introduce a certification system for high quality sports facilities. 

To support promising sports industry start-ups, the ministry will adopt an assessment system to weigh the potential value added of a new sports-related company and will help develop a sports agent system. It will form an association of sports investment firms to strengthen the financial infrastructure of the sports sector. It will establish an industry-academia network to strengthen companies’ managerial capabilities in the sector. The MCST will also set up funding systems that will provide opportunities for more firms to take part in the sports industry. It will also help foster 20 promising enterprises in the sector every year, starting in 2014, in order to incubate a total of 100 firms in the sports industry by 2018. 

The ministry will set up support centers to promote and support employment in the sports industry and train talented human resources specialized in converging IT and sports. This will create a helpful eco-system that will support the business side of sports. 

“With this plan, the government will apply Korea’s IT infrastructure and its science and technology to the sports industry in order to set up a new market-leading structure that will encourage more people to enjoy sports in more various ways,” said Vice Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Chong. 

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