By: Tom Malone
Three weeks ago, no one knew about Jeremy Lin. As a leader on Harvard’s basketball team two years ago, he received no publicity through SportsCenter or Sports Illustrated. If any National Basketball Association fan picked him for an ESPN fantasy basketball team, I would be shocked.
Finally, New York Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni called Lin’s number after a disheartening downward spiral of a record continued to get worse. Lin soared in every statistics category and led the Knicks to exciting victories, boosting their ratings.
Now, he plays in 100 percent of ESPN’s fantasy basketball leagues. He regularly appears on SportsCenter highlights. He put Harvard basketball back on the map. He reinvigorated fans’ passion for the Knicks and drew new people to the New York basketball market.
How can the Knicks franchise utilize public relations to enhance their place in NBA culture through the new Jeremy Lin phenomenon?
The distant future will depend on Lin’s consistency, but presently, he can utilize social media to build his brand. Twitter works for athletes like Dwight Howard. Why wouldn’t it work for Lin? Appearances in NBA commercials can cement his status as a New York star. An appearance in a SportsCenter commercial wouldn’t hurt either.
Every NBA franchise builds its brand through its star player(s). With strategic media exposure, Lin has unbounded potential, just like every other rising juggernaut had before him.
Lin’s future in the public eye remains uncertain, but the potential for the Knicks to sweep the country with a wave of Linsanity stands strong.
*Photo through USA Today. Video through NBA.com.