SBD/Issue 161/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Tebow Depending On His Inner Circle For Marketing Opportunities

Tebow's Older Brother And Longtime Friend
Are Coordinating His Endorsement Deals

Broncos rookie QB Tim Tebow signed agent Jimmy Sexton for contract work, but his endorsement deals are "being coordinated by his older brother" Robby and Angel Gonzalez, a longtime friend of Tebow's, according to Jon Weinbach of FANHOUSE.com. Neither Robby Tebow nor Gonzalez "has any prior experience in the sports industry," yet they "have already formed a company, XV Enterprises LLC -- the name is a play on Tebow's No. 15 jersey -- to handle the quarterback's marketing portfolio." In addition to deals with Nike and EA Sports, which Sexton negotiated, Gonzalez indicated that Tebow "has a memorabilia deal with Palm Beach Autographs and has appeared at a couple events for Gatorade." Weinbach noted playing in Colorado "may have significant off-field benefits" for Tebow. The state is "home to several large conservative Christian organizations, including Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family," and Gonzalez said Tebow has already been invited to "every church in the Rockies." Tebow appeared in a Super Bowl ad along with his mother for Focus on the Family, but Gonzalez said that they "were not paid" for their participation. Marketing Evaluations Exec VP Henry Schafer, whose company computes Q scores, said, "I don't think there's been a football player who's come into the league like him in a long time." But Schafer added in the wake of the Tiger Woods scandal, advertisers "may still be wary of the controversy about (Tebow's) stance on abortion -- it could be a drawback or a benefit, depending on the company." Meanwhile, the "earning potential of Brand Tebow will be determined by the quarterback's NFL performance, not his NCAA legacy." 16W Marketing co-Founder & President Steve Rosner: "He'll always be able to earn dollars because of what he accomplished in college. But Denver has pretty fickle fans -- he'll have to play well" (FANHOUSE.com, 4/30).

GIVE ME SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN: In Denver, Woody Paige writes Tebow's outspoken Christian beliefs have caused a "multitude of diverse opinions and reactions" locally since he was drafted by the Broncos. QB Brady Quinn "wasn't criticized for his religious principles after joining the Broncos," and QBs Kurt Warner and Drew Brees "weren't made fun of during championship seasons" for talking about their faith. Paige: "I've never experienced anything so analogous in sports since former Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the national anthem in 1996 because, he said, U.S. policies conflicted with his Islamic beliefs." Paige adds, "Neither side should turn this into the cause celebre. Freedom of religion and speech are preciously protected in this country. ... Tebow should be judged as a man and as a player, just as Brandon Marshall was" (DENVER POST, 5/4).

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