Volvo Is Betting That Linsanity Isn’t Dead Yet

  • Glenn Davis

When Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni resigned last week, the New York Post practically tripped over itself in its rush to declare the all-encompassing hype surrounding out-of-nowhere point guard sensation Jeremy Lin a thing of the past. Well, automaker Volvo better hope the Post was premature, because it signed Lin to a “global endorsement deal,” and the specific parts of the globe where Lin’s expected to help them are exactly where you’d think: the deal will “focus on China, the U.S. and Chinese-language markets in Asia.”

It all makes even more sense when you consider that Volvo is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a Chinese company. Ad Age also points out that Volvo places an especially strong emphasis on advertising over the Internet, and Lin’s near-immediate surge to stardom was nothing if not Internet-aided. As for Lin’s take on all this, he put out the following statement:

“You may not immediately see the connection between me and Volvo. But both of us are striving to be better and smarter at what we do, and to do it our own way.”

While most of that statement is the most boring thing we’ve ever read, the “do it our own way” snippet might offer a glimpse into what the eventual ad campaign will look like – we can already see the dramatic, black-and-white footage of Lin shooting hoops alone, working tirelessly to refine his game after no one thought he could make it. Really, the only potential roadblock we see to Lin helping Volvo’s plan to double their global sales by 2020 is the still-uneasy relationship between mainland China and Taiwan (Lin’s parents were both born in the latter).

Well, that plus one other roadblock. Think about the company name – Volvo. Look at the names of the cars Volvo makes: names like C30, S60, XC70. Where are the potential Lin puns?! Maybe this won’t be an issue for the China/Chinese-language market portions of the campaign, but if you haven’t noticed, over here our fascination with Jeremy has a strong LINguistic component, if you catch our drift. Sure, just about everything else about this pairing makes a ton of sense, but the lack of wordplay makes us wish just a bit that Lin had taken his endorsement advice from Stephen Colbert.