Jeremy Lin has electrified the sports world. Jerseys are flying off the shelves, New York Knicks television ratings have exploded, and tickets to see him in action are in demand. Yes, this former fourth-string point guard has reminded us that greatness can come out of seemingly nowhere and make everyone take notice—and cheer.
Despite the obvious Cinderella nature of this story, there are many subplots from which marketers can learn. Here are four to consider:
1. Fans want a chance to love your brand again. Jeremy Lin has, singlehandedly, made many love professional basketball again. For Knicks fans, it’s been a long time. Still, great brands like the New York Knickerbockers always get a second chance. McDonald’s was astray before its “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign, which has since become beloved. Coke lost and regained its fizz. And, Clint has us all talking about Chrysler. We just need a reason to have that spark ignited again. We want to root for our favorite brands.
2. Share the glory with your team. One of the most endearing aspects of “Linsanity” is his continual acknowledgment of his teammates. During every press opportunity, he takes great pains to lavish praise on the others who helped secure the victory. Not to get too inside basketball on you, but he called one player, Jared Jeffries, the glue. Jeffries is the intangibles player who looks bad on the stat sheet but does great things. I’m sure you have one on your team. Make sure they get their share of the limelight (or they’ll go on to be the glue on some other team).
3. Learn your craft. There have been countless backstories told about Lin’s journey, namely that he went undrafted after college ball in that basketball wasteland (Harvard). He was cut by numerous teams numerous times. The moral of the story is when his chance arrived to move from fourth string to first string in the World’s Most Famous Arena, he was ready. So, junior marketers out there: Sharpen those skills.
4. Make sure you hit the shot that counts. The Super Bowl ads left many ad critics and everyday observers underwhelmed. There were some strong points, but many middle-of-the-road entries. To continue the sports analogies: Leave it on the floor. It felt like many advertisers played it safe during the high-profile slots of the Super Bowl, the Oscars and the Grammy Awards. That’s no way to be Linsational or Lincredible. (Yes, the Lin-isms continue to roll.)
As the Knicks continue to roll, Lin reminds us that remarkable success can come out of anywhere at any time. Perhaps your Linning streak is on its way.
By Kenneth Hein
Follow Ken @KennethHein
Originally published at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network