Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jeremy Lin and the business of 'Linsanity'

Everyone wants something from Jeremy Lin. They want more buzzer-beating three-pointers. They want (increasingly expensive) No. 17 jerseys. And they want to make some Lincome by trademarking “Linsanity.” Two Californians have already petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to lay claim to the catchphrase, which is racing through the Web as the Harvard graduate and rookie New York Knicks point guard continues to stack up shocking basketball exploits. 

There’s yet another application for “Lin-sanity.” One for “Linning,” too. All the applications were filed this month. Trademark holders are allowed to use the phrase on products such as fan paraphernalia and clothing. Lin’s jerseys are selling better than any other player’s jerseys except for those of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. is selling gear such as T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Lin Your Face” and “Go Ahead. Go Linsane.” After a knock-out game Feb. 4, where he was responsible for 25 points, five rebounds and seven assists, Lin’s cachet exploded last night when he sunk a final-second three-point basket to break a tie against the Toronto Raptors.

 The California native is now being heralded as a symbol of U.S.-born innovation. His name is being used in finance circles to describe over-looked and underused investment opportunities. Stock for Knicks owner Madison Square Garden is up more than 9% from Feb. 3, to $32.03.

 Forbes is calling Lin a “one-man, global economic stimulus package,” with one writer estimating that he will single-handedly help Knicks’ revenue increase by up to $20 million this season, with himself earning roughly the same amount in endorsements by summer 2013

By Tiffany Hsu - L.A. Times