Brand Identity of the Korea Baseball Organization

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has announced a new “brand identity” earlier this February, which is a list of names of frequently used by the league and their English translations.  (Finally!)

Based on the KBO’s “2020 Vision 5”, the league finally did some organizing with their names which created a massive confusion among fans and the media.

What is quite significant about the announcement is their English translation of the league itself.  Unlike Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) or the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), the KBO had not come up with a proper translation of their own league since its inaugural season in 1982.

While their counterparts in Japan and Taiwan had names shared by their respective governing bodies and their leagues, the KBO did not.  The league did have a name in Korean of which its literal translation in English would be the Korea Baseball Championship (한국 야구 선수권 대회).  Since nobody bothered translating it to English, no one in the English-speaking world knew about it.  They just called the league the “KBO”, and it just stuck like this for all these years.  Technically, this abbreviation represents only the governing body.

Therefore, if one was to say, “Kang Jung-ho hit 40 home runs in the KBO,” it would literally mean he hit 40 bombs in the league’s office which is located in a building near Gangnam Station (Yes, that “Gangnam!”).

Finally, the league has a name.  The “KBO League”.  Too bad they could not come up with an abbreviation that would represent both the office and league.  I guess, however, this would have been their best option with “KBO” stuck in everyone’s mind.

So below is the new terminology set up by the KBO:

Office of the Commissioner and League

  1. Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) → Korea Baseball Organization (KBO)
  2. KBO 사무국 → Office of the Commissioner, KBO
  3. KBO 리그 → KBO League
  4. KBO 시범 경기 → KBO Preseason
  5. KBO 정규 시즌 → KBO Regular Season
  6. KBO 올스타전 → KBO All-Star Game
  7. KBO 포스트 시즌 → KBO Post Season
  8. KBO 와일드 카드 결정전 → KBO Wild Card Game
  9. KBO 준플레이오프 → KBO Playoffs Stage 1
  10. KBO 플레이오프 → KBO Playoffs Stage 2
  11. KBO 한국시리즈 → KBO Korean Series
  12. KBO 퓨처스 리그 → KBO Futures League
  13. KBO 퓨처스 올스타전 → KBO Futures All-Star Game

League Awards

  1. KBO MVP → KBO MVP Award
  2. KBO 신인상 → KBO Rookie of the Year Award
  3. KBO 평균자책점상 → KBO Winner in Earned Run Average (ERA)
  4. KBO 승률상 → KBO Winner in Winning Percentage
  5. KBO 승리상 → KBO Winner in Wins
  6. KBO 세이브상 → KBO Winner in Saves
  7. KBO 탈삼진상 → KBO Winner in Strikeouts
  8. KBO 홀드상 → KBO Winner in Holds
  9. KBO 타율상 → KBO Winner in Batting Average
  10. KBO 홈런상 → KBO Winner in Homeruns
  11. KBO 타점상 → KBO Winner in Runs Batted In (RBI)
  12. KBO 득점상 → KBO Winner in Runs
  13. KBO 안타상 → KBO Winner in Hits
  14. KBO 출루율상 → KBO Winner in On Base Percentage (OBP)
  15. KBO 장타율상 → KBO Winner in Slugging Average (SLG)
  16. KBO 도루상 → KBO Winner in Steals
  17. KBO 심판상 → KBO Umpire of the Year Award
  18. KBO 페어플레이상 → KBO Fair Play Award
  19. KBO 골든글러브상 → KBO Golden Glove Award
  20. KBO 기념상 → KBO Milestone Award
  21. KBO 기록상 → KBO Record Award

Yes, for some of these, there could have been better choices of words.  It does feel like the latter part has been outsourced to a localization company, who gave the work to a random freelance linguist, who has limited knowledge in the game.

However, the announcement has been made, and the league will be stuck with these names for a while.  On the bright side, the league is continuing to make steps to develop a platform for an international fan base.



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