By Barry Janoff
March 14, 2012: The New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden continue to reap the benefits of the play of point guard Jeremy Lin, whose Asian heritage has played a key role in bringing another marketing partner into the fold
The Knicks have signed first-time marketing partnership with Acer for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. Acer, one of the world's largest technology and electronics firms, will be an official partner of the Knicks and promote the company’s personal computers.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Acer's global headquarters are Taiwan.
The company said that its U.S. revenues were $19.9 billion in 2010.
Acer is also an official partner of the International Olympic Committee and will have a presence at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
In February, the Knicks and MSG signed a deal with Maxxis International, a tire company also based in Taiwan.
As part of the partnership, Acer marketing support will be anchored by branding will be featured on the pad position near the courtside signage on the Knicks bench side. According to executives, "This will provide prominent exposure for the Acer brand to both the nearly 20,000 spectators at Madison Square Garden and fans watching on TV and online around the globe."
“We are proud to welcome Acer as a new marketing partner of the Knicks for this season,” Scott O’Neil, president for MSG Sports, said in a statement. “This marks the second company based in Greater China in the past month to see value in partnering with Madison Square Garden and the Knicks to help drive brand exposure in New York and beyond.”
Since being inserted in to the Knicks starting line-up in early February, Lin has averaged 15 points and 6.4 assists a game. His play and resume, including being an undrafted player out of Harvard whose heritage is unique to the NBA, are credited with raising awareness for the team among fans and marketers.
According to MSG, since the beginning of February, heightened interest in the Knicks "has driven record numbers for the team across multiple platforms, including Web site traffic and social media growth, TV ratings on MSG Network, merchandise sales, and home games at Madison Square Garden this season have all been sold out."
But after a fast start with Lin at point guard, the Knicks have lost six consecutive games (going into their game on March 14 against the Portland Trail Blazers).
Acer, however, is looking for the longer-term impact of its new alliance. "Acer has a long history of sports marketing," J.T Wang, chairman and CEO of Acer Inc., said in a statement. "Basketball, like any other sport, is associated with a positive image and values that are shared with Acer. We are very glad to be partners with the New York Knicks."