By Barry Janoff
April 26, 2012: Jeremy Lin not only had a significant impact on the court with the New York Knicks before succumbing to a knee injury and subsequent surgery, but he had a significant impact on the sales and marketing of both the Knicks and the NBA.
After gaining the starting point guard position in early February, the Knicks and parent company Madison Square Garden were able to sign marketing and partnership deals based directly on Lin's presence and Asian-American heritage, including ACER and Maxxis International, both of which are based in Taiwan.
Now, the NBA has confirmed that Lin's presence has had a major impact on jersey sales in 2011-12.
The 23-year-old Lin finished No. 2 among all players behind Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who was No. 5 last season. In fact, since Lin jerseys have been available only since February, he has sold the most jerseys among all players since then, based on sales at the NBA Store in New York and on NBAStore.com from April 2011 to present.
Rose's Bulls team also claimed the No. 1 spot in sales of team apparel, with the Knicks No. 2. The Los Angeles Lakers had occupied the top spot in team merchandise since the end of the 2008 season.
Behind them in the top five are the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Miami Heat’s LeBron James (No. 4) and the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (No. 5). The Knicks had three players in the top 11, with Amar'e Stoudemire's jersey at No. 11.
The Boston Celtics were the only other team besides the Knicks with three players on the Top 15 list: Rajon Rondo (No. 10), Ray Allen (No. 12) and Paul Pierce (No. 13).
Since 2001, Bryant has claimed the No. 1 position six times and James has held it twice, once with the Heat (2011) and once with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2004), according to the NBA.
The defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks came in at No. 5 in sales of team merchandise and Finals MVP Nowitzki No. 7 after not having either a team or player among the Top Ten since 2008.
The Los Angeles Clippers had two players on the list: Blake Griffin (No. 9) and Chris Paul (No. 15). The last time the Clippers featured two players was in April 2002 with Darius Miles (No. 7) and Lamar Odom (No. 8).
This year marks the sixth season that adidas has served as the official oncourt uniform and apparel provider of the NBA.
Top 15 Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys
1. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
2. Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. LeBron James, Miami Heat
5. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
6. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
7. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
9. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
10. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
11. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
12. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
13. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
14. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
15. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Top Ten Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. Chicago Bulls
2. New York Knicks
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Miami Heat
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Boston Celtics
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Los Angeles Clippers
9. Denver Nuggets
10. Orlando Magic
Top NBA Jerseys At End Of Season
2012 – Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
2011 – LeBron James, Miami Heat
2010 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2009 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2008 – Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
2007 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2005 – Shaquille O’Neal, Miami Heat
2004 – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
2003 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2002 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
2001 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Jeremy Lin-Fluences Marketing Deals For New York Knicks, MSG