WAAC reborn as a leading character business brand accelerates globalization
SEOUL, South Korea, May 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — WAAC, a contemporary performance golf wear brand in Korea, considered a representative brand for the character business, is accelerating globalization of the brand.
Based on the pleasant brand history of Win At All Costs, WAAC has a witty brand concept, and various contents such as WAACKY, a playful evil character who leads the game to victory by blurring the opponent’s concentration.
Since the launch of the brand in 2016, WAAC has been leading differentiated character marketing across online and offline environments using the story of WAACKY. The company plans to use seasonal campaign development, character collaboration, KakaoTalk emoji creation, as well as space collaboration marketing to create a “WAACKY Room” in collaboration with golf’s premium studio The Plaza Golf.
The Korea Creative Content Agency reports that the domestic character market is growing at an average annual rate of 7.8%, and the industry expects it to exceed KRW 20 trillion this year. Society’s transition to an untact, online community caused by COVID-19 has influenced the revival of the character industry and the revitalization of social media and the entire digital environment. In particular, media platforms on global networks such as YouTube and ZEPETO have become commonplace, which is accelerating the character industry’s entry into overseas markets.
Why is the character industry growing day by day? Businesses using characters is a field beloved by everyone regardless of age, gender or generation. The character’s unique intimacy and sympathy are delivered through storytelling that strengthens the emotional bonds with consumers, which is the most important factor in its popularity.
A recent example of WAAC’s character collaboration is the meeting with the much beloved character Hello Kitty. This collaboration is also a glimpse into the global status of the Korean brand WAAC. It was first proposed by Sanrio Korea, which showed interest in the character, WAACKY.
The WAAC x Hello Kitty capsule collection consists of sweatshirts and pants, as well as a hat and socks, and plans to secure new female customers in the MZ generation and increase character awareness. From May 13 to June 7, a pop-up store will open in Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. In the pop-up store, a large Hello Kitty objet was installed, and an outdoor Beer Pong game and photo zone using a lab cart were installed. The company also plans to expand brand awareness and provide a brand experience to customers, such as operating a cafe with a limited menu for WAAC x Hello Kitty collaboration.
Also, this year’s WAAC collaboration with the global character brand BT21 provides new fun through a golf growth story of forming a team. The main items include a jumpsuit reminiscent of a caddie uniform, short-sleeved shirts with animated characters, and ball pockets. In addition, WAAC collaborated with Sonny Angel to release figures. It was presented as a gift only to customers who purchase more than 600,000 won, but it has been so well received that it stimulated the desire of Sonny Angel maniacs to collect it, and there have been many requests for sales.
Its globalization is based on the success of the domestic market this year. In the domestic golf market, which has recently become very competitive, WAAC achieved sales of KRW 40.7 billion in 2021, recording an 80% growth rate compared to the same period last year. Since 2019, WAAC has already started overseas business in earnest by signing a license contract with TAKIHYO, a Japanese textile and apparel company. Currently, the company is operating eight stores including one in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and plans to expand to 15 stores by the end of this year. The company also expanded into the Chinese market by entering Beijing’s premium golf select shop S+G in SKP Department Store in October 2021, and is operating five on-course stores including Mission Hills Clubhouse in Shenzhen. The company also plans to expand to a total of 10 stores in China by the end of this year. Not only that, WAAC is also entering the US market, the home of golf. They will partner with WGS (Worldwide Golf Shop), the second largest golf retailer in the U.S., and customers will be able to see WAAC’s products in eight stores and online shopping malls by the end of this year.
WAAC CEO Kim Yoon-kyoung said, “As metaverse technology becomes more popular in the future, the role of character intellectual property (IP) is expected to expand,” and, “We will make an example of successful K-character business by developing the WAACKY character and a more attractive and sympathetic story so it can be loved by anyone.”
In line with the brand slogan of “WIN AT ALL COSTS”, WAAC is a brand that pursues fun and healthy sports by reinterpreting conservative stereotypes about golf with a creative idea to win by blurring the opponent’s concentration. As of May 1, 2022, it will be officially launched by Super Train Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Kolon Industries.