Knicks Cinderella Super-Star Jeremy Lin to Endorse Volvo
23 year old Harvard educated basketball sensation Jeremy Lin has started to pile up endorsements after his incredibly fast rise to super stardom on the Knicks over the past few months. Most notably his deal to work with Volvo, the beleaguered car brand once the pride of Sweden now owned by a Chinese holding company. Lin already has a deal with Nike from when he was a rookie.
How does Lin match up with the Volvo brand? Good question. Most people still align Volvo with safety. (After years of successful brand campaigns to convince us of this positioning). Recently, since Volvo's financial troubles staying competitive with other European and Japanese brands, it has moved toward performance an area primarily dominated by BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine".
Lin, a US-born son of Taiwanese parents, is positioned as a unique link to the world marketplace for the Volvo brand given its Chinese owners as well as to Chinese basketball fans who recently lost their other hero Yao Ming who retired from the NBA. Volvo states it has more interest in becoming a bigger global brand beyond strengthening its US base and Lin is seen as the right fit. His youth helps because Volvo is in need of "brand rejuvenation" and a younger profile.
Lin will become the automaker's "brand ambassador" around the world within the next few months. A statement released by Mr. Lin says, "You may not immediately see the connection between me and Volvo. (No we don't, really), But both of us are striving to be better and smarter at what we do, and to do it our own way". Brand speak for sure.
Volvo continues to be in financial difficulty and it remains to be seen if Lin's image and profile makes a difference in the brand's sales performance and continued viability as a auto brand.
Watching out for you everyday.