T-shirts here, can bobble-heads be far behind?
The first batch of authorised Jeremy Lin T-shirts has arrived in town, but it may be too late to get your hands on one.
A shipment of 70 T-shirts made under licence by sportswear brand Majestic was delivered to Wong Chi-kit, owner of Mong Kok's Shooting Five store, on Saturday.
All had been reserved by customers willing to pay the HK$220 price. The Majestic T-shirts were released in the United States on Monday last week. Wong says his is one of the first stores in Hong Kong to have them.
By the end of this week, Wong, who specialises in merchandise from the National Basketball Association in the US, is expecting 400 more Lin T-shirts, in nine more designs, from Unk and Adidas as well as Majestic - even before Adidas launches its Lin products officially in Hong Kong.
Wong said: 'My store can get hold of the T-shirts early because we have a partnership with American dealers, so we are right on the heels of US retailers - we're only a few days behind because of shipping.'
An Adidas spokeswoman said its two T-shirt designs would be released in Hong Kong in mid-March and be the same designs that went on sale in Taiwan last Friday. She said the release date of Lin's jersey, of which Adidas is the only official manufacturer, has not been confirmed.
Wong will sell the T-shirts for between HK$199 and HK$249.
'About 200 customers have placed orders for T-shirts, and they don't really care what brand it is or what it looks like - they just want to be the first to wear it and show off to friends. I don't have enough to sell to walk-in customers,' he said.
'But frankly I'm not going to be making a killing from selling these T-shirts: I've had to pay a lot of money for expedited shipping from the US.'
Wong, who opened the shop 10 years ago, said it was not about making a ton of money but keeping his long-term customers happy. He only expected to earn HK$70 per shirt.
'I could have ordered more, but I just want to play it safe for now. It's the NBA All-Star games right now, so - as of now - Jeremy Lin's popularity is at a low ebb. But I'm confident that his popularity will stay consistent in general, especially when he visits Asia this summer,' Wong said.
'Customers have also been asking about Jeremy Lin figurines, bobble-heads, towels, even the Christian wrist-band that he wears on the court.'
He said he was not aware of anyone reselling the T-shirts for an inflated price, since 'his merchandise will arrive continuously in Hong Kong'.
The royal-blue Majestic T-shirts bear the New York Knicks logo on the front and Lin's name and jersey number on the back. Since Sunday, 20 customers have picked up their prized T-shirts from Wong.