Now this is Linsanity: It's been just two and a half weeks since Jeremy Lin began his meteoric rise to fame with the New York Knicks but already tourism and service industry professionals are hard at work finding ways to turn a profit on the NBA phenomenon.
The Taiwanese-American, Harvard-educated point guard leapt off the bench (and his brother's spare couch) on Feb. 4 to score 25 points and seven assists in a game against the New Jersey Nets. The struggling Knicks went on to win seven straight games, the benchwarmer became Linderella, and Linsanity began.
Next up: Lin and tonics and Lintinis at Manhattan watering holes and Taiwanese tours featuring now hard-to-get Knicks tickets at New York's Madison Square Garden.
The marketing race is on. Thanks to Linsanity, a hoops pilgrimage to Madison Square will now cost, on average, about 20 percent higher on sites like Ticketmaster, eBay, and StubHub. This has Taiwanese travel agents snatching up Knicks tickets and using them to promote trips to New York.
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Lin has made headlines not only in the U.S. but also across the Pacific, particularly in Taiwan, as the first Taiwanese-American player to have a big impact on the NBA.
Capitalizing on the popularity of Knicks' No. 17, Lion Travel was the first to offer themed tours, dubbed Linsanity No. 1. The agency began promoting the tours on Feb. 15 and a representative was quoted as saying that several groups have sold out.
Billed as going to New York to cheer on Little Hao (Lin's Chinese name is Lin Shu Hao), the tour also includes visits to Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston.
Another Taiwan travel agency, Phoenix Tours, began offering its own version called Let's Linsanity. The seven-day trip to New York includes tickets to two Knicks games. Both Phoenix Tours and Lion Travel charge over $2,000 per person for the chance to come to New York and see Jeremy Lin in person at Madison Square.
Things get even more Linsane when they get to the Big Apple. Fans line up outside of sports stores in Times Square as shipments of Jeremy Lin merchandise arrive each morning and, as New York Times reporter Glenn Collins notes, all over New York, Linsanity is on the menu.
Danny Meyer's iconic Shake Shacks now offer the Jeremy Lin-Mint (a chocolate-mint-cookie milkshake), with a sign claiming that the shake is Lin it to win it.
Arctica Bar & Grill on Third Avenue offers both Lintinis and Lin and Tonics, as does the Lugo Caffe just outside of Madison Square.
The Jeremy Lin puns are seemingly endless, as is the public's ability to capitalize on a rising star.