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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Jeremy Lin: Weibo Sports Personality of the Week

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

NBA star Jeremy Lin multiplied his Weibo followers by 13+ in just 5 days. But…who is he?

Jeremy Lin, Asian-American NBA player, increased his Weibo followers from a mere 16,000 to an impressive 220,000 in the past 5 days.  How did he do it?

Before the New York Knicks recruited him at the end of December, Lin was unemployed. His contract, potentially worth nearly $800,000, was not even guaranteed until last Tuesday afternoon. So for the past six weeks, Lin, 23, has been sleeping in his brother Josh’s living room, waiting for clarity and career security.

Here’s how he broke the good news to his Chinese fans, via a Weibo post which drew 300 comments.

However it was not until last Saturday that Lin really made the headlines, when he came off the bench to score a personal best 25-points.  Two nights later, on his first start for the club, Lin went one better scoring 28 points, hitting the NBA scoring record for a player from Harvard. On top of that, he also became the first player in more than 30 years to record at least 28 points and 8 assists in his first NBA start.  A dream debut.

He celebrated his success on Weibo after the Knick’s victory.

The comments reached almost 3000! 10 times more than just ONE month before!

As if this wasn’t impressive enough to attract more followers in China, Knicks’s #17 is also the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to play in the NBA and only the fourth Asian-American in league history.

Aside from his formidable sporting talent, his popularity has risen so dramatically because of what Lin represents to the Chinese fans:


One excited fan commented…

“Lin is an American-born Taiwanese, so is natural for him to acquire American citizenship. But he has the yellow people’s blood. Even though his game style has nothing to do with Asian one, he still is one of the two best Chinese NBA players. We should give him a lot of applause and encouragement.”

Overall result?

Lin’s fans increased 13-fold in the last 5 days only.

Now his Chinese fan base is 4 times bigger than the Twitter one, which only has 60,000 (10,000 of which was acquired last Monday).

Sometimes all you need is authenticity to boost your social media marketing strategy.

Of course this social media boom won’t continue by itself and needs to be managed.  The fans have only had a taste, now they want more!

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