In case you haven’t heard, Jeremy Lin is the New York Knicks point guard who went from an unknown bench player to an overnight and international sensation after being asked to step in due to a series of team injuries. While Lin didn’t start his first game alongside Knicks marquee players Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, he’s emerged as a budding star of his own with his winning streak and impressive points per game avg. It may seem like a fluke to some, but the 23-year-old guard was ranked as one of the NCAA’s top ten players in his conference during the 2008-2009 season while attending Harvard University. Too bad he was cut by two teams—including the Knicks—at the beginning of this season. After getting his shot to play, Lin show and proved, scoring 38 points against perennial All-Star Kobe Bryant and leading the team to a seven-game winning streak. His exceptional play has become an inspirational story, and quite the profitable brand. BlackEnterpise.com Decodes the net worth of the rising star’s net work. —Adena Andrews
For a while, the people who supported Lin the most weren’t able to watch the majority of his games on television. Due to an ongoing licensing fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and Madison Square Garden, 2.8 million New Yorkers who subscribe to the multi-million dollar cable company were blacked out from all MSG games. But thanks to Lin’s seven-game winning streak, the rising star’s buzz was enough to lift the blackout on Feb. 17 and send MSG ratings skyrocketing. Although the Knicks’ winning streak came to an end that same evening against the New Orleans Hornets, followed by a loss against the New Jersey Nets, both games recorded as the two highest-rated regular-season events ever, with ratings of 7.32 and 7.34, respectively.
GARDEN OF PROFIT
With Lin’s overnight celebrity, The New York Times reported Madison Square Garden’s stock rose 3.8 percent, to a record $32.32 on February 13. According to Forbes.com, “That translates to a $170 million to the company’s market cap to $2.4 billion.” As for ticket sales, the Knicks have reached an average sell-out capacity of 19,763, per The Wall Street Journal’s “Market Watch.” And if the New York point guard’s above-par playing skill set carries the team into the postseason, it could be worth $3.5 million per home game, not including “merchandise and concession sales.”
There’s no question that Knicks’ ticket prices have increased since Linsanity descended on New York. According to Forbes.com, The Garden’s average ticket prices have multiplied by an astounding 27% since Lin joined the NY franchise’s starting lineup. But the Knicks and MSG aren’t the only entities feeling the Linsanity effect. The uproar surrounding the six-foot-plus guard has also caused ticket prices around the NBA to rise. A seat for a typical Miami Heat game costs $218.54, but when Lin and the Knicks hit South Beach the average ticket price shot up to $510.06.
SUPPLY & DEMAND
Since becoming a household name, Jeremy Lin has seen his No. 17 jersey become a hot commodity. According to The Wall Street Journal, Modell’s Sporting Goods, a New York-based sports store, sold approximately 10,000 jerseys, with intentions to sell an estimated 160,000 additional jerseys, as of February 21. Adidas, which has a licensing agreement with the NBA, plans to distribute Lin’s jerseys to 6,700 stores across China. As reported by CBS Sports, Lin’s jersey from his first New York game sold on eBay for $40,000, a price higher than most D-League players’ salary. Similarly, the game-winning jersey he wore against the Los Angeles Lakers, where Lin scored 38 points, sold for more than $42,000, after starting at an introductory price of $1,100. All proceeds were donated to the Garden of Dreams Foundation. Not only is Lin selling jerseys, he’s selling rookie cards, too. As reported by CBS News, Lin’s signed, Golden State Warriors rookie card recently sold for $21,580 on eBay.
THE BIG PAYOFF
After playing for a less than $40,000 salary with the NBA’s D-League, Lin is racking up an exponentially greater pay grade—more than 18 times his former paycheck. But while Jeremy Lin is currently making $762,000, according to Forbes.com and HoopsHype.com, his salary is still less than seven percent of the standard $5 million salary most NBA players never surpass, and less than five percent of LeBron James’ $16 million-plus salary. USA Today states that with his newly acclaimed salary, Lin can afford to buy 76 people the chance undergo the Linsane experience at center court for the low cost of $9,999 per ticket. In all, it appears that the Knicks guard has experienced a 300-percent salary increase if he received the D-League’s top pay grade. And as of two weeks ago, Forbes declared that Lin is “the fastest-growing athlete brand in the world,” with his value placed at $14 million, tying with Kobe Bryant as the sixth “top athlete brand” worldwide.