For Volvo, Knicks star is priceless Lin-vestment across China

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BEIJING -- If you think 6-foot-3 New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is popular in the United States, you can't believe his star appeal in China.

For Volvo, he's simply a ringing Lin-dorsement here.

By car, by foot or by train, Lin is omnipresent in Beijing, and always next to a car.

There are the Lin advertisements on LED TV screens the size of a small building (Lin your face?). Jeremy's jerseys are plastered in the famous clothing markets (a good Lin-vestment). And, within the Volvo stand Monday, there was Lin posing next to a car (A Lin'spiring story is hard not to tell over and over again).

"He is very much global for Volvo," said Freeman Shen, senior vice president of Volvo Cars China Operations. "For Volvo, he shows we are smart and nimble."

Shen was referring to Lin's Harvard education, his assist-per-game ratio (6.1 apg this year) and ability to create a feel-good story.

By car, by foot or by train, NBA star Jeremy Lin is omnipresent in Beijing, and always next to a car.

Photo credit: JASON STEIN

Lin's paternal family comes from Taiwan and his maternal grandmother immigrated to Southern Taiwan in the 1940s from mainland China.

His recent partnership with Volvo will involve speaking engagements and other unique appearances, beyond the billboards that appeared outside the auto show in Beijing.

"His mother is even helping us right now organize a trip this summer" to China Shen said. "In many ways he's perfect for us."

And perfectly everywhere Volvo is in China.

You can reach Jason Stein at jstein@crain.com. -- Follow Jason on Twitter

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