In combat sports, such as MMA and boxing, what brings in the Pay-Per-View (PPV) dollars and attention is not necessarily the sport, but the fighter. For some, the fight itself is more than two people fighting; it’s the visual embodiment on many of the fighter’s struggles, and an example where there is a true winner and loser. It is a fact that interesting fighters draw more money than boring fighters. Fighters with huge followings generate huge PPV numbers, which is the real genius behind Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s “Money” persona.
If you don’t know who Jeremy Lin is by now, you haven’t been near a phone, TV, or a computer for two weeks. The star player for the New York Knicks has been embraced by the city and his performances have launched himself to international popularity. It is now common for watch parties in China to start at 2 and 3 in the morning so that they can watch him play. Lin’s sustained success has shown that he is not just a flash in the pan, but will have staying power in the NBA. Now the question becomes how should he be branded for long-term success.