RRC-EA and KIA Tigers support World Wetlands Day 2020

The Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA) and KIA Tigers professional baseball team jointly promotes the Ramsar Convention through annual celebrations of World Wetlands Day (WWD). On 29 May 2020, the RRC-EA joined KIA Tigers at the Gwangju-KIA Champions Field in a game with LG Twins as part of year-long WWD 2020 celebrations in the Republic of Korea. Due to the threat of COVID-19, the ceremonial pitch and hit as well as the distribution of awareness raising materials were excluded from the event program. Alternatively, players of KIA Tigers donned uniforms designed by the RRC-EA which included the promotional phrase “I love Ramsar”. A large WWD 2020 banner, measuring 35 meters by 20 meters, was also displayed at the stadium.

The stadium video board played a short video about wetlands during the baseball game. The RRC-EA also sponsored specially designed baseball uniforms as prizes for an online quiz about the Ramsar Convention, Ramsar Sites in the Republic of Korea, RRC-EA and theme of WWD 2020. The event was televised live via free-to-air channel of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and via NAVER TV and Kakao TV. On game day, the total number of live viewers in NAVER TV reached more than 1.6 million. By 1 June 2020, the number of recorded game playback as hosted by NAVER TV registered more than 24 million views. National and local media reported about the baseball game results and WWD 2020.

This momentous event reinforced mass media as an effective CEPA tool that can broaden and extend its reach to people from all walks of life. NAVER registered a sharp increase in the number of searches for the term “Ramsar” on the day of the baseball game. The search trend showed that the KIA Tigers uniforms had a strong influence in catching the attention and stirring up the curiosity of baseball enthusiasts on the meaning of “Ramsar”. NAVER is the primary internet search engine in the Republic of Korea similar to Google.