Jeremy Lin: The $170 Million Man
NEW YORK (TheStreet -- New York Knick point guard Jeremy Lin is a one-man economic recovery that even Ben Bernanke couldn't dream up in his Federal Reserve meetings.
Lin-sanity has taken the country by storm and as a result created a spending frenzy that's benefiting a broad range of companies, tax rolls and even the stock market. Lin's salary this season is a modest (by NBA standards) $800,000, but by some calculations, he's turned into the $170 million man. The most tangible impact has been on the market cap of Madison Square Garden (MSG) , whose stock has jumped 7% to close Thursday at $31.87 from its close at $29.77 on Feb. 7 when Lin first entered the Knicks' starting lineup. That translates to a $170 million to the company's market cap to $2.4 billion.
Neither the Rangers, currently sporting the best record in the NHL's Eastern conference, or The Westminster Dog Show can take credit for that. Apologies to Malachy.
But there's more of an impact to consider. Ticket prices for Knick games are estimated to have jumped more than 25% in the resale market. That means all the online ticket sellers are seeing an increase in their bottom lines.
Plus, it isn't just the tickets in New York that have increased, the tickets sales have gone up while the Knicks are on the road.
"We've seen an increase of 10x in site traffic and ticket sales," says Joellen Errer, head of communications at online ticket seller Stub Hub. "Page views, search activities increased. As soon as he hit the game winning three-pointer on Tuesday, prices have risen 2-3x."
Stub Hub is an eBay(EBAY) company, which if you were wondering, a Jeremy Lin search brings up more than 11,000 results.
"It's a combination of all factors, the Knicks are on the largest stage and it's a turnaround story," Errer continued. "Then there's the the mommy test. If Mom has heard of him, then he's past the sports headline and into the everyday news."
Then there's the retail aspect. Jerseys are $58 and practice T-shirts are $25. Local sports retailer Modell's says Lin merchandise is flying out the store.
Lin's no. 17 jersey is the NBA's top online seller since Feb. 4, and Knicks' merchandise sales are also no. 1 since Lin entered the lineup. Lin won't receive anything from merchandise sales -- that goes to the NBA and the team.