I've been casually watching the phenomenon that is Jeremy Lin. I am not a big sports guy, but you'd have to live under a rock to not notice and be inspired by what this young man has done in a matter of minutes. It's not like he's an overnight sensation, either -- the guy has worked for it! But why now, and why all the attention?
If you look at it from a consumer perspective, it makes sense. We love our underdogs and we love our heroes. We love when the unexpected happens, and we love to celebrate when someone rises out of no where to achieve great success. It's the American dream, and there's a piece in all of us that hopes that somehow it may happen to us as well.
Given what we have collectively gone through in the last decade or more, it's not surprising at all that someone like Jeremy Lin captures our attention and affection. We need our heroes now more than ever. There's not a lot that we can trust, but we sure can enjoy a moment of pure unadulterated success. We need it and certainly the NBA brand needs it too.
What's your experience? Jim.
President of North America at Cohn & Wolfe
Author of The Experience Effect series
Professor at NYU