Jeremy Lin merchandise booms

@CNNMoney February 17, 2012: 3:56 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Lincredible! Linsanity! Divine Lintervention!

Whatever pun you choose to describe it, the Jeremy Lin phenomenon is shaping up to be a big win for many retailers.

Lin, an unheralded Asian-American player from Harvard, has turned in a string of sensational performances since coming off the bench in a game earlier this month, leading the New York Knickerbockers to a surprising winning streak.

"The demand has just been unlike anything we've seen," said Rich Lampmann, a spokesman for Modell's Sporting Goods, a chain based in New York City. Modell's has sold roughly 10,000 Lin jerseys and t-shirts in the past week, and has over 160,000 more hitting shelves within the next few days.

"It's really been sort of a catch-up game," Lampmann said. "We were literally pulling product off the presses to get it into the city."

Lin's jersey has been the top seller for the NBA's online store since his breakout game on Feb. 4, NBA spokeswoman Amanda Thorn said. She declined to provide exact sales figures, but said nine of the top ten sellers in the store this week are Knicks jerseys, and that Lin merchandise has been shipped to 23 different countries.

A Lin replica jersey retails sells on NBAStore.com for $59.99. Some possible counterfeits, meanwhile, seem to have already made it online -- Lin jerseys were available on eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) Friday for $29.99.

Given the Harvard grad's recent emergence, many retailers are still scrambling to catch up with the demand for Lin apparel. Monty Marks, a senior buyer at the New England-based Olympia Sports, said Thursday that the chain was just receiving its first shipments of Lin gear after a number of inquiries from customers.

"We do expect it to be pretty good," Marks said. "The build-up has been crazy."

Matt Powell, an analyst with sporting goods industry tracker SportsOneSource, said there was still "very little product" associated with Lin in most stores nationwide.

"It's just barely getting started," he said.

Given Lin's Taiwanese heritage, his marketing potential in the Far East is tantalizing as well. The NBA said this week that Lin had become the number-one search on Baidu, China's Google equivalent.

For now, Lin has a Nike (NKE, Fortune 500) endorsement deal that he signed when he turned pro back in 2010. Brian Strong, a spokesman for Nike, noted that Lin had done a two-city promotional tour for the brand in Taiwan last summer, but was tight-lipped about future marketing plans.

"He seems to be inspiring people through his play, and we'll continue to look at ways to celebrate that," Strong said. To top of page

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