There are multiple levels of hilarity to think that a basketball sensation turned internet meme is the cause of (my favorite team) the New York Knicks triumph back into the positive media spotlight. If you’ve been hibernating and don’t know who Jeremy Lin is, check out The New York Times’ topic page on him and just read through the headlines to understand what an unbelievable journey it has been for both him and the Knicks.
Among many firsts, Lin is the first Asian-American to play in the NBA. He’s also amassed nearly 500,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 1 million Likes on Facebook. Besides the fact that a new feeling of hope is infused in Knicks fans and that the team has been winning (including yesterday’s victory over Dallas), “Lin-sanity” has been toping the social TV charts and helping to increase traditional TV ratings for games.
Lockout seasons for the NBA must be a good luck charm for the Knicks. In 1999 when a lockout shortened the season, the Knicks, while the 8th seed in the playoffs, ended up making it to the NBA finals. Now once again after the concluded lockout kicked off the season with a big social TV push, the Knicks are leveraging Lin’s newly found internet fame to ignite fans around the tri-state area and beyond.
The Knicks as an organization leveraging Lin’s fame:
If you go to NYKnicks.com, before you’re taking to the main page a brand new splash page (above) hits you in the face asking you to “join the Lin-sanity” by liking the team on Facebook and Twitter. The splash page is a giant picture of Lin going up for a layup and in the distance you can see an unforgettable look on Spike Lee’s face that you thought you might never see in the garden again. The team’s Facebook page photo is a picture of Lin that reads, “I’m going Lin-Sane.”
SocialGuide’s “Linfographic” social TV success:
To display how Lin’s success on the court has translated into a social TV phenomenon, social TV data company SocialGuide put together an amazing infographic (above) on how social TV chatter mapped to MSG’s linear broadcast of the games exploded after Lin started killing it for New York.
NM Incite’s tracking of the Jeremy Lin affect:
NMIncite’s tracking, “surrounding Jeremy Lin has followed in the same upward pattern as TV ratings,” according to the company. “Online mentions of Lin went from zero prior to February 4 to 0.32 percent of all online conversation on February 15 – more than the Knicks, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant combined.”
Advertisers and TV ratings have been phenomenal:
Lin has secured MSG (the network that airs the games) its highest ratings of the season. According to USA Today:
Through the five games in which he has been the Knicks’ starting point guard, MSG’s ratings have jumped 87% to an average household rating of 3.39 and 250,447 households vs. a 1.81 and 133,719 households during the Knicks’ previous 20 game telecasts. MSG’s ratings for its first 25 Knicks telecasts this season are up 68% compared to the same point last season.
The combination of his basketball success, Charlie Sheen-type social media success and ratings success has caused brands to start vying for his attention. The 23-year-old Harvard graduate only has a small shoe deal with Nike, according to AdAge.
Saturday Nigh Live even made fun of ‘Lin-sanity’ in their opening sketch:
When SNL takes a week during an election season to make fun of the fascinating success story that is Jeremy Lin, you know something big is happening on both TV and social media. Watch the clip above.
- Learn How To Build a Website To Share Your Clips, Get Free Webcast Access
- Adidas sees huge spike in social TV activity from commercial
- An inside look at Epitome Pictures' social TV strategy for 'Degrassi'
- How CNN and SnappyTV created social TV producers for the debates