Jeremy Lin seems to be more of a commercial commodity at this point, as opposed to a bonafide basketball player. Don’t get me wrong, I think he belongs as a player in the NBA, but thanks to a magical month of pulling the New York Knicks out of its doldrums and becoming a global media sensation, Lin still has doubts surrounding his production on the hardwood.
Lin has a lot to prove to the world, the real one and basketball world, in regards to whether or not he could do it again. Of course, “it” has varying degrees, as well as various meanings. For the Houston Rockets, it’s about proving that they didn’t spend a ton of money, particularly on a third year balloon payment, on a mediocre player that’s getting paid like a very good player.
For companies that are looking to align their brand with the Jeremy Lin brand, it’s about having Lin’s reach and influence staying consistently good, if not stellar as it was when Linsanity was at its peak. Naturally, that level of stardom will be difficult to attain again and maintain, but Lin will have to at least be a relevant and very good NBA player with the Rockets.
One brand that is taking a chance on Lin is Volvo as it tries to expand its sales in China, which is dominated by luxury cars such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. Below is the first commercial to hit the Chinese market (translation/explanation of the commercial is below the video):
The Lin Volvo ad — currently only available in cell-phone pirated form — shows the star driving a red Volvo SUV through a crowd after an event. Lin halts, watches other drivers turn right, and then veers left. He says, “I’m not here to live up to anyone else’s expectations; I’m here to live up to mine. I’m Jeremy Lin.” The final tagline, in Chinese, “I am Jeremy Lin. The one that I want to outdo is myself.”
Expect more commercials with Jeremy Lin’s face involved soon enough. You have to get while the getting is hot because if Lin falters, quarterly reports are going to look ugly.