SBD/February 20, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Lin's Agent Fielding Calls From Potential Endorsers; Can His Firm Handle Requests?

Montgomery Sports Group President & CEO Roger Montgomery, who represents Knicks G Jeremy Lin, Friday confirmed that his client has been approached to endorse “a little bit of everything, a variety of categories.” Montgomery, appearing on CNBC, said he was getting inquiries from U.S., Chinese and Taiwanese companies. He said the interest is “unprecedented,” and what “we’re going to do is take our time and we’re going to use balance in this process” to determine what companies to align with and endorse. Lin has not signed any deals yet, “outside of the deal he already had with Nike” (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 2/18). AD AGE’s Rich Thomaselli noted whether Montgomery’s “relatively small agency can handle the influx” of requests for Lin “remains to be seen.” Sources said that there are “more than brands reaching out: Sports-marketing firm IMG, the sports division of Creative Artists Agency, and the LeBron James-backed LRMR Marketing have all put out feelers about representing” Lin's marketing. None of the three firms responded to requests for comment (, 2/19).

JERSEY SCORE: Lin played one game this season with the NBA D-League Erie BayHawks before being called up to the Knicks last month, and in Ft. Lauderdale, Ira Winderman reported BayHawks Owner Jed Kaplan "has put in a special order for BayHawks Lin jerseys." Kaplan said, "We're talking to the league. They said it could take some time. We're negotiating with adidas" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/20). ABC’s Mike Tirico reported Lin's success "has brought the throwbacks (jerseys) from Jeremy’s background -- from Palo Alto High, from Harvard, where he wore No. 4. You can see how his jersey has been all the sensation online and at the NBA Store in New York” (“Mavericks-Knicks,” ABC, 2/19). Director Spike Lee wore a Harvard jersey, Lee's alma mater, to yesterday's Mavericks-Knicks game. ABC's Michael Wilbon said, "How many choices do you have for Lin jerseys? They can’t keep them on the shelves in the stores” (“NBA Countdown,” ABC, 2/19).

MAKING THE RIGHT CALL: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said it was an "absolute mandatory change of heart” by NBA Commissioner David Stern to name Lin to the BBVA Rising Stars game that is part of All-Star Weekend. Plaschke said, “I wasn’t even going to watch the game. Now I’ll watch, not just because of Lin but he’s on the same team as Blake Griffin.” SB Nation's Bomani Jones said there “was simply no reason not to” name Lin to the team. Jones: “David Stern made the right call. This is what people want to see in an exhibition game” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/17). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said, "Lin’s in and we all want to see it!” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 2/17). ESPN’s Howard Bryant said Stern “must be going nuts to lose Yao Ming and the Asian market, and now to have Jeremy Lin takeover. This is exactly what the global game was supposed to be” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 2/19).
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