When Volvo announced it was signing NBA star Jeremy Lin as a pitchman for its cars last March, “Linsanity” was everywhere. It seemed impossible to turn on televised news without hearing the latest exploits of the New York Knicks’ unlikely superstar point guard.
In the seven months since, Lin has largely fallen from public view, a reminder of how fickle celebrity status can be. At the end of last year’s NBA season, Lin signed a three-year deal that moved him from New York to Houston, where he’s expected to start at point guard during the 2012-13 season.
While Lin may not have the unwavering media attention he did at the start of the year, he’s still a superb choice as a pitchman for Volvo. Like the Swedish automaker, Lin is content to go his own way, instead of blindly following the herd.
In his own (scripted) words, Lin states, “I’m not here to live up to anyone else's expectations; I’m here to live up to mine.” The same can be said for Volvo, which finds itself struggling to compete against rival luxury automakers.
In fact, The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch cited Volvo as a brand that “might as well back out of U.S. sales,’ citing its 0.4-percent market share or the mere 4,977 vehicles sold by the automaker in September.
We couldn’t disagree more with Market Watch, since we think Volvo remains a viable (if niche) brand. Like Lin, Volvo is an underdog that has the potential to surprise, and we wish them both continued success in the coming years.