European soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain (PSG-France) President Louis Campos has said that he brought in Korean soccer’s future Lee Kang-in because of his “talent,” but later realized his market value.
According to French newspaper Le Parisien, Campos revealed the “back story” of Lee’s recruitment in a lecture to more than 100 students at the prestigious Paris 1 University (Pantheon Sorbonne) on Tuesday (local time).
“I worked really hard to sign Lee Kang-in from a sporting point of view (regardless of marketability),” Campos said, adding, “From a sporting point of view, Lee Kang-in was a player I liked very much, and he was also a good match for the style that coach (Luis Enrique) prefers.”
“I didn’t take into account the impact he would have on the Asian market,” he added. “Today, the activity of the PSG network in Asia is unbelievable. This is the power of social networks.”
According to Le Parisien, Campos mentioned Lee while explaining how he utilizes social networks to recruit players.
First of all, Campos said that he often uses data such as TransferMarkt, a European site that specializes in the market value of players.
To complement the data-driven analysis, he said, the organization has developed a special methodology that aggregates posts shared by players online to identify their personalities.
However, just because a player has a large social media presence doesn’t mean he’s a good fit, and Lee Kang-in’s name was cited as an example of a signing that emphasized “sporting” skills, the outlet explained.
In fact, back in June, when Lee was being heavily linked with a move to PSG, Spanish outlets such as Marca reported that Campos had spent weeks in talks with his former club Mallorca (Spain) to convince them to make a move.
Chief Revenue Officer Mark Armstrong told RMC Sports on the same day that “all players are signed on a sporting basis,” but that “we have seen a significant increase in commercial revenue since Lee joined.”
Armstrong CRO said that South Korea has become PSG’s “third largest market” after France and the United States.
“There (South Korea), we’re opening a three-story flagship store in January (next year),” he said, adding, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we play a game there in the next few years.”
He added that the number of Korean fans visiting their home stadium, the Parc des Princes, has increased by 20% compared to previous years, “which is a very satisfying result from both a sporting and marketing perspective.”
After scoring six goals and providing six assists in 36 games in the Spanish Primera Liga in the 2022-2023 season, Lee moved to French giants PSG this summer.
It was during PSG’s preseason tour of East Asia, which included a stop in Japan and South Korea in August, that local media outlets first realized the impact of Lee.
In an article titled “Lee Kang-in, an unknown in France…a superstar in his own country,” Le Parisien highlighted Lee’s popularity in East Asia, saying that he was “in some ways the French equivalent of Kylian Mbappe.
PSG head coach Enrique is also pleased with the signing.
After PSG’s 3-0 home win over Montpellier in the 11th round of the French Ligue 1 on April 4, Enrique told Le Parisien, “(Lee) is a unique player. He’s physically good, he’s a complete player,” and praised him as “a great signing for the club.”
Lee, who has recently landed in France with a string of attacking points, has been recognized locally for his performances, being named to the Ligue 1 Best 11 in both the 10th and 11th rounds. 파워볼사이트