SBD/October 12, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tim Tebow Poised To Make Star Turn -- Is That Something NFL Needs?

Kang says the NFL needs Tebow, as what the league "lacks right now is star power"
The Broncos yesterday announced QB Tim Tebow will start their next game against the Dolphins on Oct. 23, and the NFL needs Tebow "to succeed," as what the league "lacks right now is star power," according to GRANTLAND.com's Jay Caspian Kang, who wrote under the header, "Why The NFL Needs Tim Tebow.” Players like Brett Favre and Terrell Owens are "gone," and Colts QB Peyton Manning "will probably not play a meaningful down in 2011." The players “who drive the league’s narrative are mostly quarterbacks.” Patriots QB Tom Brady “taught the league that it was enough to be handsome, tall and excellent,” while Manning “made up for his unhandsomeness with a refreshing, yet ultimately staid style of sales comedy.” Saints QB Drew Brees “comes close, but his image is so wrapped up in New Orleans that it doesn’t quite translate to the greater market.” Tebow “might not become a great quarterback or even a good one, but he captures that country’s imagination in a way that strays outside of the league’s expected storylines.” While Brady “still appears to be in his prime, the days of him occupying tabloid headlines are over.” Kang: "If you take a hard look at the upcoming stars, who could really play a leading role in the NFL's ongoing drama? Philip Rivers? Matt Ryan? Joe Flacco?" Meanwhile, stars "work better in pairs,” and Panthers QB Cam Newton also “moves the needle." While the NFL “is marketed around teams and winning, can you think of one storyline that would be more compelling than Tebow vs. Cam?” Kang: “They both have already caught the attention of the country. They had that before they took a snap in the league. Now all they have to do is learn how to actually win a few games” (GRANTLAND.com, 10/11).

A RUSH AT THE BOX OFFICE...IN MIAMI: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde cites a source as saying that “more than 2,000 tickets sold” for Broncos-Dolphins yesterday “on the secondary market through sites like Stubhub.com" after the announcement that Tebow will be the starter. That equaled “the previous six weeks of sales for the game.” Hyde writes, “You can count on your hand the number of players in team sports who sell tickets just by showing up. ... At some point, and soon, Tebow will have to win at the pro level to sell tickets. But for now in selected pockets like Denver and Florida, he’s a potential gold mine for the curtain going up on his season” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/12). In West Palm Beach, Brian Biggane notes the Dolphins have planned to celebrate the Univ. of Florida's '08 national championship team on Oct. 23, and Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said that “those plans won’t change.” Neither Tebow nor Dolphins C Mike Pouncey, who were both on that UF team, “will participate in the ceremony.” The number of tickets remaining for the game was not available (PALM BEACH POST, 10/12).

EXCITEMENT CONTINUES TO GROW: GameDay Merchandising COO Marty Garafalo, whose company runs the Broncos' official team shops, yesterday said that there "has been a noticeable increase in sales because of the excitement” over Tebow being named the starter. Garafalo said that sales of Tebow merchandise “had slowed from the 2010 pace early this season, but the figures appear to be rising again, particularly in the sale of women’s No. 15 jerseys” (DENVER POST, 10/12).
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