Things are not going very well for the New York Knicks, as last night’s 104-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls extended their losing streak to 6 games and dropped them 6 games below .500 and into a tie with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. At the center of the drama is Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, who is the target of both the wrath of fans and players alike. Can he and star player Carmelo Anthony continue to live together despite this divide?
Nobody cares. Because Jeremy Lin is still the Big Apple’s brightest star, and now, despite the losing and drama, Lin is being rewarded for his short career as a starter with his biggest endorsement deal yet. He’s going to be slinging Volvos over in China. I would have guessed Lincoln.
Lin, who blogs in both mandarin and English on his Chinese Twitter-style weibo, has 2.47 million followers on his microblog.
Volvo is betting Lin’s popularity may help the company make further inroads in China, the carmaker’s fastest-growing market, as it seeks to double sales to 800,000 vehicles in the 10 years to 2020. (Via Bloomberg)
Bloomberg also points out that the precursor to Linsanity – Yao Ming’s Dynasty – still nets Yao $36 million a year for his endorsements with McDonald’s and Apple, among others. So as long as Lin keeps people tuning into Knicks games and reaching into their pun reservoirs to come up with exciting new nicknames for him, people will surely notice which companies he’s endorsing, too.
And that’s great news for Volvo and eventually Intel, Infinity, Innovative, Intech, Inland Truck, Integrys, In N Out Burger, Linked In, Invisible Children and, toward the end, Digital Sin.