Who’s Cashing In on Jeremy Lin’s Success? — Dollars and Sense
Unless you’ve been involved in a total media blackout, you’ve likely heard about Jeremy Lin — aka “Linsation” — the New York Knicks guard who’s such an on-court phenomenon that TV ratings of Knicks games have jumped 70 percent, causing the publicly traded stock of Madison Square Garden, where the team plays, to hit a 52-week high.
“This hurricane of ‘Linsanity’ has swept across not just the fans of the NBA, but also across the nation, and to a significant degree, it has engulfed China and parts of Asia as well,” said Marc Ganis, president and founder of SportsCorp, a Chicago-based sports business consulting firm. “I don’t believe we have ever seen anything like it.”
The 23-year-old point guard’s fairytale story — he was warming the Knicks bench just two weeks ago — includes an endorsement deal with Nike, and Ganis said that as long as Lin continues to play well, the NBA “will be the big winner here.” Ganis estimates Lin’s success will be worth from $10 million to $20 million a year for the league.
And because Lin is one of the Chinese-American players to make it to the NBA, Ganis went on to say Asian TV partners are already adding Knicks games to their programming lineups, and sales of NBA merchandise are likely to surge across Asia, where the league will probably pick up new sponsors, as well. Even small sporting goods stores and Chinese restaurants holding Lin viewing parties are profiting from his success.
“I assure you, there are people at Olympic Tower where the NBA is headquartered who are working day and night thinking of ways to exploit this player and the great interest in him, especially in China, and crossing their fingers hoping it doesn’t end soon,” Ganis added.