(LEAD) PyeongChang 2018 signs KEB Hana Bank as main banking partner
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SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Organizers of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games on Tuesday signed KEB Hana Bank as their main banking partner.
The two sides recently wrapped up their negotiations that began in February and announced their deal in a ceremony at KEB Hana Bank's headquarters in central Seoul.
The bank will reportedly offer 11 billion won (US$9.7 million) in sponsorships, though PyeongChang had earlier said it sought 15 billion won from its top banking partner.
Lee Hee-beom (second from L), head of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics organizing committee, poses with Ham Young-joo, president of KEB Hana Bank, after the bank became PyeongChang's main banking partner in a signing ceremony in Seoul on April 18, 2017. (Yonhap)
KEB Hana Bank was picked as the preferred negotiating partner two months ago, beating out two candidates in an open bid.
As the main banking partner for the first Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea, KEB Hana Bank will handle ticket sales, among other transactions. The bank will set up branches across the Olympic venues to serve participating athletes, officials and spectators.
As the top banking partner, KEB Hana Bank will enjoy a wide range of marketing rights, including the use of intellectual property and of PyeongChang's logo in their advertising campaigns.
PyeongChang had been struggling to secure sponsorship deals from the financial sector in particular, with the recession and the impact of a major political scandal surrounding former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, making companies reluctant to open their wallets.
When the selection of the main banking partner was delayed, PyeongChang was forced to postpone the start of ticket sales from last October to February.
Soohorang (L) and Bandabi, the official mascots of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics, stand before Gangneung City Hall in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on March 28, 2017. Gangneung will stage ice events during the competitions. (Yonhap)