Capitalizing on Linsanity

The name Jeremy Lin didn’t mean anything couple of weeks ago. Now it is all the craze across the media. The story of the first Asian-American basketball player who was largely unheralded before coming off the bench to revitalize the struggling franchise has captured the hearts and the imagination of the whole world. However, he isn’t only winning on the basketball court, he is also wining big time for New York Knicks on the digital world.

According to ClickZ, the marketing gold mine that is Linsanity have effectively cornered media market.

“When speaking about what their number of Facebook likes/fans means, marketers sometimes joke about giving Facebook a million dollars to get a million fans. Well to get a half million new Facebook fans in the last two weeks, all the New York Knicks had to do was give Jeremy Lin the basketball.

The NBA franchise on Friday disclosed that the sports phenom – dubbed “Linsanity” by newspaper writers – has been not only a dynamo on the court but in the digital realm as well. The 23 year old athlete has been the spark behind the team going from Facebook 1.4 million fans/likes earlier this month to its current 1.95 million.

The Knicks’ web traffic has exploded by 770 percent since Lin’s starting lineup debut on Feb. 4, compared to the prior two weeks. Unique visitors are up 531 percent, team officials said, while video views have skyrocketed by 2,000 percent. Video views have totaled 1.8 million in the last two-and-a-half weeks, according to the Knicks. For the week ending Feb. 19, NYKnicks.com was the top visited site among all NBA properties.

The team has also picked up 35,000 Twitter followers, putting it at 230,000 total. In addition, the team says, its three-week-old KnicksNow mobile app has generated 130,000 downloads and currently ranks in the top five free sports apps in the iPhone store.

And while digital data is nice, nothing beats retail sales. Since Feb. 4, orders on NYKnicksStore.com have jumped roughly 4,000 percent, according to Delivery Agent, the Knicks’s e-commerce provider.

The sales lift is mainly due to Lin memorabilia. Since Feb. 4, his jersey has been the top seller in the NBA.”

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