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New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin smiles during warm-ups before their NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in Toronto February 14, 2012. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin smiles during warm-ups before their NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in Toronto February 14, 2012. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)

The business of Linsanity Add to ...

It’s easy to forget that these are still recessionary times in the U.S. of A., which might explain the commercial frenzy that has erupted around the young fella who wears jersey number 17 for the New York Knicks.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does a sputtering economy; the fact that Jeremy Lin’s unlikely rise appears to have caught the NBA’s normally slick marketing and merch apparatus short has provided an opportunity for others to step in.

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Like the ‘import/export’ businessman in California who recently filed a copyright application for the term “Linsanity”, which has grabbed the sporting zeigeist by the lapels and isn’t about to let go.

Or the person who registered this site.

He is, of course, not to be confused with the guy who registered the domain name linsanity.com and is flogging t-shirts from same - whose prices have apparently risen with each new Lin feat of genius.

Shame he was slow cluing in to the patent office process.

It’s not known whether the robust counterfeiting industry in China, land of Lin’s ancestors (his parents are Taiwanese, their roots are mainland Chinese) has cottoned on to what’s happening, it’s a safe bet that they have.

That it hasn’t manifested itself on the streets of SoHo shouldn’t be seen as evidence to the contrary.

There are currently 2,712 entries when you type “jeremy lin jersey” into eBay’s search bar, no odds on how many of them are bogus goods.

According to various reports there is something very close to pent-up demand for Lin merchandise.

That’s likely good news for the NBA, whose closer-than-it-may-appear lockout is finally receding in the side mirrors.

And it’s also a boon for the Golden State Warriors, who gave Lin his first NBA job - never mind that they cut him before the season, as did the Houston Rockets. Nice work, chaps.

But where there’s a fortune to be made, chicanery will quickly take root, so make sure to check the provenance of your Lin gear, lest the Canal Street watch stops ticking or the orange lettering peels off in the wash.

Follow on Twitter: @MrSeanGordon

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