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February 17, 2022

The economics of Linsanity

This Linsanity thing has been going on for more than a week, and now that a bit of the dust has settled, it’s time to run through this story with our financial comb.

What shakes out in the remarkable tale – of Jeremy Lin, of course, the Taiwanese-American Harvard grad that’s come out of nowhere to be the NBA’s hottest player – is not just the reach the New York Knick’s rise has on the court but off it, too.

The economics of Linsanity are resounding, in fact, stretching some four industries and two continents.

Three days after Lin’s magnum opus right here in Toronto, here’s a quick look at the economics of Jeremy Lin.

On the checklist of money makers in the NBA, Lin hits two key notes: namely, that he’s Asian and plays in New York City.

*Bing: Whose jersey is the best-seller in sports?

Yeah, yeah, save the racial backlash, please, because while race isn’t the only issue at play with Linsanity’s surge, it’s one of the largest, proving that diehard Asian basketball fans across the world just need a good story to throw themselves head-on into the NBA.

A rundown of how Linsanity affects not only Asian economics but those in North America, too:

1) The stock market – The great big spinoff of Lin’s rise earlier in the week was the ascendance of the stock of Madison Square Garden, the company that owns the Knicks’ arena, its sports franchises and a couple cable TV channels. When Linsanity took hold, shares in MSG hit an all-time high since the company was spun-off from Cablevision in 2010, rising from $29.32 per unit to $32.32 initially before settling at a still-improved $31.87 after Thursday’s close.
2) Merchandise – Exact figures aren’t known just yet, but merchandise has spiked in the Asian nations, NBA China CEO David Shoemaker has said. Fervour for the league hasn’t been this high in Asia since Yao Ming, who was forced into retirement last year.
3) Ticket sales – Of course, the greater the product, the greater the demand. But ticket prices to Knicks games have positively boomed over the past ten-plus days, rising from $92 on the secondary market pre-Lin to as much as $317, on average, for New York’s last game Wednesday against Sacramento.
4) Tourism – New Yorkers flock to MSG to watch Linsanity, but they don’t have much on Taiwanese tourists, who are coming from just a little bit further. Travel agents in Taiwan are already all over Linsanity, offering tour groups to New York to see Lin. “Several groups” have already sold out since the tours were promoted first on Wednesday.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...