Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks) and the Power of Negative Personal Branding

  • SumoMe

He has scored the most points in the NBA since the ABA (American Basketball Association) and NBA’s merger back in 1976-1977.  Replicas of his No.17 are being sold like hotcakes in many places and his name is being chanted everywhere by basketball fans and ordinary people alike.  He was the one who started it all, who brought Linsanity to life.  He is none other of course than Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, dubbed as the most surprising story ever for the Knicks, the NBA and some say, the sporting world.

Born as Jeremy Shu-How Lin on the 23rd of August 1988, Jeremy Lin’s start in the NBA was not that favorable at all.  For starters, he was passed over during the NBA draft, was cut by two NBA teams in one preseason several months ago and was sent to the Developmental league.  It was as if he did not belong on the court and worse, he was subsequently ignored.  You can say that as far as personal branding is concerned, that of Jeremy Lin’s has been entirely negative before he got a chance to prove himself and become a star.


Jeremy Lin image

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Why is this so?  Well, first of all, he’s a graduate of Harvard and the Ivy League.  He is also of an Asian American descent, with his parents being Taiwanese .  You can say that Jeremy Lin just do not fit into any existing successful profile or stereotype in the NBA.  He’s also a devoted Christian and a lot of people have assumed that Lin’s personality and background simply do not fit the usual profile or stereotype that traditional NBA guards exude.  Needless to say, Jeremy Lin has gone through hard times – much of which has been due directly to the results of negative personal branding.

But to everyone’s surprise, he is currently the impetus for the chants for MVP at Madison Square Garden, has captivated the Twitter community by storm and is also the newest pride of the New York Knicks, the Big Apple, Asians, Ivy Leaguers and underdogs and supposed underachievers worldwide.

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks is, at present, the best example of how powerful personal branding is.  From being the ignored player who slept on the couch’s of his brother and teammate – without a guaranteed salary – to the rising NBA star that has even changed the history and possibly the significance and value of the National Basketball Association.   An underdog that is loved by everyone and a common man who has become the inspiration of many, Jeremy Lin has certainly proved that personal branding can be changed if you can persevere, continue to dream, aspire, and work hard to succeed.  Oh, and you need that one chance to shine too – though you can’t be shy about asking for that chance.

It cannot be denied that personal branding can be negative at times but at the end of the day, it all boils down to one’s personal belief in oneself and how a person perseveres to change his negative brand.  The New York Knicks’ newest pride – Jeremy Lin – might well serve as an inspiration to us all.

Related blog post:

Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks: Business Success
Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks: The Marketing Begins


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