According to Automotive News, Volvo aims to increase the company's global sales to 800,000 units by 2020, with much of that increase aimed at the Chinese market. Last year, the company sold around 47,000 vehicles in China. Given Lin's popularity in the People's Republic, the point guard's endorsement should be a boon for Volvo. He also has a staggering 664,000 Twitter followers, which jibes nicely with the automaker's renewed focus on social media as a marketing tool. Click past the break for the full press release.
*UPDATE: New York Post video of the press conference (including what Volvo model Lin says he sees himself as) added after the jump.
The Scandinavian luxury car manufacturer, Volvo Car Corporation, announced today that it has signed Chinese-American NBA (National Basketball Association) star, Jeremy Shu-How Lin, to a global brand endorsement contract, with focus on China, the United States, and Chinese-language markets in Asia.
According to the cooperation agreement, over the next two years Jeremy Lin will participate in Volvo Car Corporation's corporate and marketing activities in his capacity as Volvo Car Corporation Brand Ambassador. He will also appear in Volvo Car Corporation advertising in these markets.
"Volvo Car Corporation's choice of Jeremy Lin as the company ambassador derives from our shared ethos of passion, dynamism and progressiveness," said Freeman Shen, President of Volvo Cars China at the press conference.
"This is a significant moment in the history of Volvo Car Corporation's brand rejuvenation, showcasing the new Volvo brand strategy Designed Around You with sportsmanship and intelligence. In this new era, Volvo Car Corporation has set a vision of being the world's most progressive and human luxury car brand, and we are determined to win the future. For our region, Jeremy Lin is the pride of the whole Chinese population, and we are excited to work with him."
"We believe Jeremy Lin's character, intelligence, perseverance, and pursuit of excellence are perfectly in tune with Volvo car owners' characteristics of appreciating smart understated luxury with a human touch," added Richard Monturo, Vice President of Marketing, Volvo Car Corporation, elaborating on the brand associations.
Jeremy Lin, the only NBA star with a Harvard degree, told the press conference, "It's a great honor for me to be appointed as Volvo Car Corporation Brand Ambassador today. You may not immediately see the connection between me and Volvo Car Corporation, but both of us are striving to be better and smarter at what we do, and to do it our own way. I hope that my efforts will inspire more young people to follow their ambitions in sports and education, just like Volvo Car Corporation is designing cars around people's ambitions in life."
Volvo Car Corporation has organically integrated sports into its corporate and brand culture, with its joint sponsorship of the Volvo Ocean Race, and participation in winter sports, golf, and other sporting events. The Jeremy Lin endorsement is another milestone of Volvo Car Corporation's revival, and will duly help the company further enhance its brand image and business performance globally, especially in the strategically important markets of China and the United States.