Fans are not the only ones that have caught hold of the February’s Jeremy Lin explosion into NBA stardom.  Homemade Lin jerseys and fanatical declarations filled social networking sites following his February 4th breakout game against the New Jersey Nets.  The subsequent appearance of available official Lin NBA gear was inevitable, but came to the market in startling speed.  

Adidas, official apparel provider of the NBA, is looking to capitalize on Lin’s outbreak performances by providing replica jerseys and apparel offerings within weeks of the players booming debut.  Adidas entered into an 11 year contract with the NBA in 2006.  The sporting goods giant is no stranger to banking on young athletes across several sporting categories and the international buzz of Lin fans will certainly provide the demand they need to kick start the investment in this new sensation.

Due to the timeliness of the appearance of the apparel offerings to the market, it is speculated that Adidas looked to customizable products as an early outlet to hungry consumers.  Number 17 jerseys were the soonest to hit web retail and were conceivably the easiest to manufacture on such short lead-times.

Individually stylized apparel creations have also made their way to the NBA’s official store only weeks later and speak to the investment Adidas has made that goes beyond the satisfaction of an immediate demand.  Though banking on fashionable and quick to market trends does historically yield lower sell through quantities, the creation of additional apparel offerings does suggest that Adidas will continue to manufacture for this un-forecasted niche market.  As these products have certainly spun the Adidas supply chain and development teams into a high octane frenzy, the sporting goods leader must be looking for a continued Lin performance to fuel its investment.
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Ian Mac Manus

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