Even though Jeremy Lin is working out the kinks with his team, now that Carmelo Anthony is back, the 23-year-old Asian-American is being bombarded with sponsorship offers in China. Currently, Lin is holding talks to possibly endorse Swedish car brand Volvo in China, according to people familiar with the matter.
Volvo is now owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. The company is trying to boost Volvo sales in China as part of a strategy to double the brand’s global sales to 800,000 vehicles by 2020. Geely plans to invest up to $11 billion in the effort.
Other companies are moving quickly to tap Mr. Lin’s popularity in China. German sports-apparel company Adidas AG plans to roll out the Knicks star’s jersey across its network of 6,700 stores in China.
The U.S.-born son of Taiwanese immigrants, Mr. Lin has captivated Chinese basketball fans who are hungry for a hero after the retirement of former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, a Chinese native.
Mr. Lin has yet to ink any big deals, save for a Nike sponsorship signed when he was a rookie. That deal initially offered little visibility or major products featuring his name.
Since last month, however, Nike has moved to produce a Lin-themed shoe.
Mr. Lin is now being courted by dozens of companies but has yet to make a major nonsports endorsement, according to people familiar with the situation.
China is home to around 300 million basketball fans, according to NBA estimates.
Meanwhile, the league itself has benefited from Mr. Lin’s emergence: his jersey has been the NBA’s top-selling jersey online since his run began Feb. 4.
Asians and Asian Americans are hungry for a real famous, breakout Asian star! Come on Lin we’re rooting for you!
via www.bloombergnews.com and www.wallstreetjournal.com