The Prospect of Jeremy Lin – Changing Sports Marketing
The Prospect of Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin might be the biggest thing to hit ESPN since…Tim Tebow. These analysts are falling all over themselves to cover him and Sports Center has become Lin Center. Yet, Lin’s story is an intriguing one. He crept into New York like Roy Hobbs silently stepped off the train in the Natural. No one knew about this guy.
Lets take a different approach to reviewing the Jeremy Lin sensation and review what he means in a business sense to the NBA. Since the retirement of Yao Ming it was estimated the NBA’s second largest market, China, would lose up to 57% of its viewership. Yes, Lin is an American, not Chinese. But, he is of Chinese descent and could be a great way to help the NBA fill the enormous vacuum left by Yao Ming. The NBA is worth 2.3 Billion in China and an estimated 30 million watch games every week. So, let’s assume only 45% of the Chinese viewers stop watching games and this takes us down to 16.5 million watching games every week. WOW. If you run any sports league you want to keep those viewers around and watching basketball. You would hope and pray for a situation to captivate that audience. Jeremy Lin could be that answer. Even your sponsors are hoping Lin continues to play well and has an impact in the Asian market place. Ming enjoyed significant success in endorsements with Apple, Gatorade, Visa and McDonald’s. If Lin can even come close to this type of viable promoter in the overseas market he could be a very successful man. He would also make the league and basketball fans very happy.
Right now everyone is not quite sure what to make of Jeremy Lin and he could just be a passing sensation… but if he isn’t it could be great news for the NBA trying to keep a foothold in a strong overseas market. If he is just a passing sensation it’s still a phenomenal story that could make a great movie. Someone call Brad Pitt and see if he wants to play Mike D’Antoni. Personally, as a huge fan of professional basketball I really hope this works out for Jeremy Lin and the league as a whole.
Top 5 reasons you want to see Jeremy Lin succeed:
- Help the NBA expand its reach overseas
- Spike Lee sporting a Lin jersey and yelling at Reggie Miller as Miller broadcasts the game
- Seeing a McDonald’s commercial with Lin and Ming going one-on-one for a Big Mac, only to find to their dismay Larry Bird finishing it off and thanking them for the show and lunch
- A true “Natural” story and real life Roy Hobbs for basketball
- Imagining the chaos of ESPN analysts trying to decide what is more important to talk about, Lin or Tebow
The Prospect of Jeremy Lin