By now I’m sure we are all aware of Jeremy Lin and his captivating story. We’ve seen him grace the cover of Sports Illustrated twice, hit game winning shots, and seemingly come out of nowhere to take over the media capital of the world. Such a story is genuinely unprecedented and highly unlikely to be replicated. We truly have seen few, if any, stories like this before.
Lin’s unexpected stardom on the basketball court is interesting, but the fascinating part of his story is the impact he has had on social media and vice versa. No one has impacted their franchise’s social media presence the way Lin has, and social media has never catapulted someone to fame as quickly as Lin. Before anyone could truly comprehend what was taking place, “Linsanity” took on a life of its own.
According to General Sentiment, social media users mentioned Lin 2.6 million times during a week’s span. Users mentioned Lin more than President Barack Obama, which helps put this phenomenon is perspective. Felicia Dorng mentions that during the month of February the New York Knicks gained 500,000 new social media fans. The average number of new social media followers gained for an NBA team is 100,000. Think about that…the Knicks added five times the average and it was all because of a former benchwarmer. You aren’t the only one who didn’t see this coming.
With sudden success, comes suddenly raised expectations. So now the concern becomes, not only can Lin maintain his historic level of play, but can the Knicks maintain such a high growth in social media audience.
The Knicks certainly believe so, as Lin as arguably replaced Carmelo Anthony as the face of the franchise. That is not saying that Lin is a superior player to Anthony, but just that he is clearly the more marketable of the two right now. The explosion of “Linsanity” shows the power of social media, and the captivating ability of an out of nowhere success story.
Jeremy Lin’s story lends itself perfectly to social media because it’s instantaneous, engaging, and in New York City. A public relations dream, if you will. It’s the perfect storm brewing at the perfect time, and we all love it. Especially New York Knicks fans.