Recently, two crossover sports stories have dominated mainstream media like nothing in recent memory: Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow.
Lin, a Taiwanese-American Harvard graduate from Palo Alto, Calif., has captivated the nation by leading the Knicks to eight wins in nine games.
As Pablo Torre writes in a recent Sports Illustrated article about Lin’s success:
“Nothing, anywhere, has ever resembled the ascendance of Jeremy Shu-How Lin, a legend seemingly pulled from the imagination of a goosefleshed [NBA commissioner] David Stern, if not Disney’s most hyperbolic global marketing exec.”
But before Lin, we were (and still are, actually) infatuated with Tim Tebow, the good-natured Florida native and unevenly talented quarterback who led the NFL’s Denver Broncos to an improbable succession of regular-season victories and an equally unlikely win in the first round of the playoffs.
But it’s the unrelenting hype surrounding both athletes that should intrigue PR pros, marketers, and communicators.