SungWoo Lee To Return For World Series
SungWoo Lee To Return For World Series
ESPN AND MAGGIEVISION TO PRODUCE A DOCUMENTARY SHORT FOR THE EMMY-AWARD-WINNING "30 FOR 30 SHORTS" SERIES IN ASSOCIATION WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Following a massive global rally uniting sports fans around the world, Royals' super-fan SungWoo Lee will fly in from South Korea to watch the World Series in person, starting Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kansas City Royals, riding the crest of one of the most stunning Cinderella seasons in baseball history, added yet another remarkable chapter when the Shinsegae Corporation of South Korea granted permission for their employee SungWoo Lee - the Royals' unofficial good luck charm - to attend the 110(th) World Series between the Royals and the San Francisco Giants.
SungWoo's amazing journey from virtual anonymity to worldwide cult hero will be the subject of an ESPN "30 for 30 Shorts" documentary, produced by MaggieVision Productions, in association with Major League Baseball. The film will be executive produced by Maura Mandt and directed by Josh Swade (the creative team behind the "30 for 30" THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME).
"Over the course of SungWoo's journey, we've seen the best of what sports stories can accomplish. They can dissolve borders between countries, knit together radically different cultures, and bring people together who would otherwise think they had nothing in common," said Mandt.
Added Swade, "Basically, every ridiculous sports cliché has totally and completely come true. If I saw this stuff in a Hollywood movie, I would never believe it. But it all happened. And it keeps happening."
The story began back in August, when SungWoo - a lifelong Royals fan - flew to Kansas City on his own dime to see his beloved Royals in person. Before he knew it, social media discovered his story, and elevated him to local-hero status. Mere days after first setting foot on US soil, SungWoo was throwing out the first pitch at Kauffman Stadium. And after SungWoo returned home to Korea, the Royals simply wouldn't stop winning, culminating in their astonishing undefeated playoff run that clinched them their first World Series appearance in 29 years.
That's when Swade, a native Kansan, decided to fly to Seoul with his documentary crew, determined to bring back the Royals' good luck charm for the World Series. It was bring back SungWoo or bust. When SungWoo expressed uncertainty that he would be able to get off work for the trip, the forces of worldwide fan passion took over. #BringBackSungWoo became the #2 trending topic on Twitter - not just in Kansas City, but nationwide. Influential executives around the world got involved, calling their friends and connections at Shinsegae, SungWoo's employer. Finally, last Friday, SungWoo's bosses told him that his wish had been granted. He was headed back to Kansas City for the World Series.
So on Tuesday, October 21, just hours before the first pitch at Kauffman Stadium. SungWoo's plane will touch down in Kansas City.
"This is exactly the kind of story 30 for 30 Shorts was created to capture," said Dan Silver, Sr. Director of Development, ESPN Films. "These short films provide us an opportunity to expand the subject and formats we explore, but at it's core SungWoo's story is innately one that fits with 30 for 30. SungWoo's journey to cheer for the Royals at the World Series is a story about the world getting smaller, technology allowing fans to exist everywhere, and sports bringing people all over the world together."
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SOURCE MaggieVision Productions
CONTACT: For MaggieVision Productions: firstname.lastname@example.org, For ESPN: JayJay.Nesheim@espn.com, For MLB: David.Hochman@mlb.com