If Jeremy Lin leave the New York Knicks, fans will be devastated. Just not as much as the retailers.
Unless the New York Knicks match the Houston Rockets' offer by tomorrow night, Jeremy Lin will be heading west this summer, taking with him a whole lot of money in lost merchandise revenue. If he leaves, retailers across the New York metropolitan area will slash prices on Lin gear, dropping the prices for products like t-shirts and books down to five dollars, Bloomberg reports.
One sports merchandise analyst told Bloomberg that New York Lin products will now be “worth virtually nothing.” That's just a little over five months after an autographed jersey, one Lin wore versus the Los Angeles Lakers, sold at auction for $42,388.
Macy’s and Champs Sports have already cut the prices of Lin t-shirts by up to 50 percent, Yahoo Sports reports.
Since the team's payroll is already so high, filled with star contracts for the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks will likely have little choice but to let Lin go if they want to avoid $60 million in luxury tax penalties three years from now, the Houston-Press reports. As such, Linsanity in New York may be over.
In addition to captivating a global audience, Lin had a sizeable impact on the team's finances. Many have credited Lin with bringing more fans to home games and with being the impetus for Madison Square Garden Inc., the Knicks’ parent company, to settle a pay dispute with cable provider Time Warner.
Linsanity even provided a boon for New York sports bars in addition to inspiring the Lin-Mint milkshake flavor at local New York burger chain Shake Shack.