The South Korean market for sports beveragesis hotting up in anticipation of the 2002 World Cup, according to local press reports, with the market's four main sports beverage producers - Coca-Cola Korea, Dongaotsuka Co, Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co and Haitai Beverage Co - all preparing marketing activities.

Coca-Cola, an official World Cup sponsor, is apparently planning to launch ads that feature Korean national soccer stars for its sport drink "Powerade." The company also plans to release a new "Powerade" flavour at the end of next month.

Lotte Chilsung, which has a sales agreement Pepsi, will be offering its products to sports associations and at Internet events. It also has plans for new products.

Haitai marketing is to target World Cup fans from next month, where the company will exploit its position as an official sport drink company for the national soccer team.

Finally industry leader Dongaotsuka plans to offer samples at many sport events and is preparing a "large sales event surrounding the soccer competition", Korean press reports said.

One source reported that the Korean sport drink market is expected to grow to 200 billion won (US$151.40m) this year from 170 billion won last year.