At midday on July 17, Champs Sports at Broadway Mall in Hicksville, NY, was a ghost town despite ridiculous prices on Lin t-shirts and jerseys.
Lin T-Shirts Marked Close To 50% Off
The Lin adidas player name and number Knicks No. 17 t-shirts, which Champs had marked down to $12.99 from their original $22 price, were fully stocked on the shelves, and it looked as if they hadn't been touched in days.
Customers in the store were spotted eyeing LeBron James Miami Heat jerseys and Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls merchandise, but not many expressed interest in Jeremy Lin merchandise.
"Lin is still very popular here in New York, but teenagers are fickle," said Tara Painter, 23, of Hicksville, NY. "The people who wear NBA t-shirts and jerseys want to look cool for their friends. Regardless of the steep discount, wearing a jersey of a player who isn't on the team anymore isn't a good look."
Painter, who was shopping at Champs Sports for NBA merchandise for her younger cousin who will be returning to school in September, opted instead for a regularly priced Carmelo Anthony shirt.
"At least [Anthony] will definitely be on the Knicks next year," she laughed after plunking down $22, leaving the discounted Lin shirts to collect dust on the clearance rack next to New York Mets Jose Reyes jerseys and New York Jets Plaxico Burress t-shirts.
Macy's, also in Broadway Mall, had various Jeremy Lin t-shirts, priced $25 in Feb., marked down to $12.50.
And Lin's book, "There's No Expiration Date On Dreams," authored by Rich Wolfe, was marked down to $4.99 by July 16, just three months after it hit the shelves at $24.95.
Wait And See Approach
New York sports fans seem to be taking a wait and see approach on Lin gear, as the Knicks have until 11:59 on July 17 to match the Houston Rockets' three-year, $25.1 million dollar that was offered to the Taiwanese sensation.
If the Knicks let Lin slip away to the Rockets, No. 17 New York basketball jerseys and t-shirts will likely fall in price even more by July 18.
"We're going to have crazy, crazy prices -- like $5," Mitchell Modell said in a businessweek.com report. Modell, the namesake of the sports retailer Modell's Sporting Goods, was referring to Lin merchandise if the Knicks fail to match the Rockets offer.
Will Knicks Lin Jerseys Be Rendered Worthless?
"If Lin leaves, this product is going to be worth virtually nothing," said Matt Powell, an analyst with Charlotte, North Carolina-based SportsOneSource, an analysis firm focused on the sporting-goods industry.
Assuming the Knicks fail to match Houston's offer to Lin, expect the malls to be packed on Wednesday morning as fans look to take advantage of the clearance prices.
The Knicks reached agreement on July 14 on a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers to acquire point guard Raymond Felton, and they have two other point guards under contract - veteran Jason Kidd and Argentine guard Pablo Prigioni. Having three point guards under contract essentially leaves Lin out in the cold.
Only in the Big Apple can you go from superstar to the clearance racks in just five months.
Personal Source, Tara Painter
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-16/lin-exit-would-leave-retailers-with-worthless-merch, Scott Soshnick, Business Week