TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
If you have the time to sit down with Kevin Lin and have a chat, you will realize he is not just a simple athlete. After retirement, he turned his attention to other jobs related to sports. From organizing competitions to starting a clothing brand, he took a path that was rather difficult. But still willing to give everything a try, Kevin embarked on the journey of sports entrepreneurship.
Opposite to the stereotype of being a jock, athletes nowadays pay much attention to the business potentials outside of the game. Channeling the tenacity of an athlete to his businesses, Kevin is someone who never stops, in both life and work. From business, law studies to finishing his master’s dissertation for law school, he believes there is no end to learning. It is important for us to learn new things from the new generations and expand our expertise to many different fields. “Even though I am an entrepreneur now, people still see me as an athlete.” He admits a lot of people question his decision of becoming a legal counsel and tries to tell him what to do according to their knowledge. This is when he looks to the knowledge he has acquired himself and decides what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, Kevin also reveals that the sports events in Taiwan is a rather thin market. Low-priced, underpopulated with dissatisfying sports regulations, even the slightest change can result in economic fluctuations and affect the market.
On the same day, Canelle visited the area where all the tea parlors in Wanhua are located. Through the window of the car, she saw that there was not one single soul on the street. Due to the confirmed cases, she had to conduct her live interview in the news van. It was the same day she witnessed a completely empty Longshan Temple, a stark contrast to what she saw just a few months ago when the temple was packed with people during Chinese New Year.
Speaking of Kevin’s earlier experiences, he says there were limited opportunities for him to become a teacher back then. His other choices were working at the gas station or getting a part-time job. With nowhere else to go, he wondered if there was anything else he could offer to Taiwan’s sports environment? Decided to listen to his heart, Kevin wanted to take on a different path from other athletes and try entrepreneurship. After studying business and law, he realized there are two sides to the market of sports: the bad thing is there is nothing, which is also a good thing, because it means that there is unlimited potential. Having established Kevin Lin Company Limited for almost eight years now, Kevin hopes that with his promotion, sports can become a part of everyone’s daily life. To him, a sense of fulfillment meant serving the public, promoting the importance of health and continuing to search for the source of happiness from sports. Speaking of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he believes that if Chao-tsun Cheng maintains his performance, there is a good chance that he’ll bring back a medal. A sport that welcomes all races—African American, Caucasian, Asian and more—it becomes even harder to standout in track and field. However, Kevin is confident that if Chao-tsun Cheng, also known as the athlete with “The Golden Arm,” is able to win, the fame and success he will achieve in Western countries are incomparable.
For a long time, the sports institutions in Taiwan rarely considered establishing their brand value. Perhaps developing a nationwide sport for everyone is the goal a sports business needs work towards. Active communication and proper service are what it takes for a business to last. Speaking of the trending We Media, Kevin admits that although he is a famous athlete, he never really considered this path because he wanted to build something a little different. However, he encourages young coaches to utilize the resource and show the world the life of athletes through social media. In the wake of the pandemic, it is undeniable that sports events are taking a huge toll. For his own brand, SUPERACE, Kevin has started to work with different businesses and is planning on launching a line for health foods and supplements. As for when will we be able to take off our masks and attend a thousand people marathon? It is definitely something we can all look forward to. When asked to give a word of advice to his future self in the next ten years, Kevin gave it some thought and said softly, “Keep up with the good work” —six simple words enclosed with eight years of effort and the fuel of time that will support him through all the challenges and continue on his path.