Linsanity: Now a Vehicle to Sell Volvos

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 22:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks in action against the Atlanta Hawks on February 22, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Hawks 99-82. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Photo: Jim McIsaac/2012 Jim McIsaac

Jeremy Lin, who is no longer the world's most important person, signed a two-year deal today to become Volvo's "brand ambassador." His advertising will focus on the U.S and China, which makes a lot of sense: Lin is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, and Volvo is owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is hoping to increase Volvo sales in China to 800,000 cars by 2020.

Freeman Shen, senior VP of Volvo Car Corp., drove the connection home with a rather sweeping statement: "For our region, Jeremy Lin is the pride of the whole Chinese population, and we are excited to work with him."

Lin added his two cents with the kind of statement corporate sponsors make when they are trying to make two disparate things (basketball, cars) seem as perfect together as peanut butter and jelly:

"You may not immediately see the connection between me and Volvo. But both of us are striving to be better and smarter at what we do, and to do it our own way."