“The Nets are a global team, and we are always looking for creative ways to expand our fan base, such as through heritage nights,” Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, told NBC News in a statement. “We have seen significant brand affinity from the Asian community, and it remains a focus of ours to continue to nurture growth in such a critical market.”
Now, the team is offering something new: a “Men’s Brooklyn Nets Nike Jeremy Lin #7 Mandarin Swingman icon jersey” at $140 per unit. Both Lin’s name on the back of the jersey and his number, 7, on the front are represented with Mandarin characters. There’s no indication that jerseys for any other Nets players will be afforded similar treatment.
This is just the latest Nets marketing effort aimed at Chinese and Taiwanese fans as well as Chinese- and Taiwanese-American fans (or Taiwanese-Canadians like Tsai).
In fact, the Nets manage an account on Weibo, a popular Chinese-language microblogging platform that now boasts close to 2.2 million users. The team’s website is also translated into simplified Chinese. This season, there were both Taiwanese Heritage and Chinese Heritage nights. At the first Taiwanese Heritage Night on January 8, Jeremy Lin bobbleheads were handed out to the first 10,000 fans.
Moreover, as NBC News noted, Lin is now the third most popular NBA personality in China, after Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant.