SBD/June 22, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Lin's New Agent Says First Task Is Weighing Endorsement Opportunities

Lin will be a restricted free agent come July 1, could make $5M per year in next contract
Knicks G Jeremy Lin's new marketing agent, Jim Tanner, said his first order of business is to begin sorting through potential opportunities from corporations interested in endorsement deals with Lin, including companies based in Asia. "Our main charge at this point is to get our arms around the many opportunities available to Jeremy," said Tanner, an NBA player agent and partner at DC law firm Williams & Connolly. "He has an extreme amount of interest from any number of companies, including companies in Asia." Tanner would not name any of the companies interested in Lin, the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to play in the NBA. Lin currently has existing deals with Nike, which signed him after he went undrafted in '10, and Volvo, which signed him earlier this year. Tanner will work collaboratively with Lin's current agent, Roger Montgomery, on his NBA affairs, including his free agency. Montgomery did not return a phone call or a text. Tanner recruited Lin when he was at Harvard, but lost out to Montgomery. Tanner: "We had met with Jeremy and his family when he was coming out of Harvard. We had a conversation with them recently, and they expressed an interest in working with us" (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).

MARKETING GOLD MINE: In N.Y., Howard Beck wrote Lin “is poised to cash in on his newfound fame.” He will be a restricted free agent as of July 1 and is "expected to command more than" $5M a year in his next contract. Lin’s family “has been unhappy with his marketing and has been seeking a larger firm to handle it.” Williams & Connolly is “mainly known for its litigation prowess and its insider credentials.” The firm also has "carved out a niche representing talent across the entertainment industry” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/21). Also in N.Y., Marc Berman notes Montgomery “needed help mostly because Lin is a marketing gold mine.” There has been “criticism Lin hadn’t cashed in with enough endorsements” (N.Y. POST, 6/22).
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