Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, and Michael Zavodsky, his executive vice president for global partnerships, are in Beijing this week to take advantage of the Nets' new connection with China ... Jeremy Lin. Call it Lin-ergy.
It's one of several initiatives the Nets have taken both in Asia and the U.S. A Nets insider said the team has been in touch with "Lin's people" on the efforts, including the trip to the Chinese capital.
Yormark and Zavodsky will be meeting with potential Chinese sponsors, including sports equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, television network outlets and other marketing companies. Yormark is also expected to do interviews with Chinese media, with the main topic being the Nets signing of Lin. Lin, whose parents were born in Taiwan, is the only Asian-American playing in the NBA. Yormark and Zavodsky are expected to take 15 meetings over the course of the week.
The trip, one of several Yormark has taken to China since joining the Nets a decade ago, was set up not long after Lin agreed to sign with Brooklyn. Of course, the Nets have experience in marketing in China. Yi Jianlian played two seasons for the New Jersey Nets.
Like a lot of Nets-related sites (including NetsDaily), the team's own sites have seen an explosion of interest since July 1, when Lin tweeted out his decision. For example, the Nets official site on Weibo, a Chinese cross between Twitter and Facebook, now has 1.3 million followers and growing.
At home, the Nets are looking at group sales efforts for a Chinese heritage night, a Chinese New Year's celebration and even a Harvard alumni night. Lin is also the only Ivy League graduate in the NBA. The Nets have also reached out Chinese-American business leaders in the New York area about other opportunities.
The New York metropolitan area hosts the nation's largest Chinese and Chinese-American community with more than 820,000 living in the tri-state area. Of that 570,000 live in the city, including 200,000 in Brooklyn and 237,000 in Queens. There are 34,000 Chinese and Chinese-Americans living in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which is also the home of the Nets practice facility, the HSS Training Center.