Toyota, supporter of Korean culture

Would you do a double-take if Volvo were the sponsor of the Country Music Awards?

How about if BMW were the primary sponsor, and the only automotive sponsor, of a museum exhibit of Japanese samurai swords? Or if Hyundai were the sponsor of a North American tour of Germany’s hottest electronic-music band?

Some pairings just aren’t that intuitive.

So how in the world did Toyota end up as the presenting sponsor of KCON 2014, which bills itself as the largest North American convention dedicated to ‘All Things Hallyu.’

Translation: The Japanese auto giant is the primary sponsor of a celebration of Korean pop culture.

The event, now in its third year, runs Aug. 9-10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. According to the publicity material, it includes celebrity panels, autograph sessions, contests, fan workshops, amazing food and “two star-studded K-Pop concerts.”

I guess Hyundai and Kia are on vacation those two days.

You can reach James B. Treece at



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