SBD/January 4, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Jockey Execs Say Tebow's Popularity Helping To Market To Younger Consumers

Tebow has appeared in TV spots, billboards, print ads and special events for Jockey
Broncos QB Tim Tebow will make his debut in the NFL Playoffs Sunday, and his “skyrocketing celebrity status is proving to be beneficial” to Jockey, according to Rich Rovito of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Jockey CMO Dustin Cohn said that Tebow’s rise to stardom has provided the clothing brand “with an opportunity to leverage his celebrity for the benefit of its brands, particularly in its efforts to attract younger consumers.” Tebow has appeared “in a variety of marketing programs for Jockey, including special events, television spots, billboards and print advertisements.” Marquette Univ. Associate Professor of Marketing Dennis Garrett said, “It gives them some buzz in a category that’s not that exciting. Nobody thinks too much about underwear.” Garrett added that having Tebow as a celebrity endorser “could raise Jockey above competing underwear brands.” Jockey management is “convinced Tebow helped make its new StayCool products the fastest-growing line in the history of the company, which dates back to 1876” (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/30 issue). Meanwhile, in Denver, Andy Vuong reported countless businesses and entrepreneurs "are trying to cash in on Tebowmania, placing his name and likeness on beer, bracelets and sweaters.” Some have “had success, though it may be short-lived because of copyright and trademark issues.” Denver-based DeRailed Ink “produced a shirt last year featuring the line, ‘John Elway wears Tim Tebow pajamas’” and Owner Robert Bell said that sales “were slow last season but have been great this year.” Vuong noted the creation “that has garnered the most success is Tebowing.com.” In the first three days, visitors “bought 200 Tebowing shirts for roughly $20 each, depending on style.” Ron Jackson, editor of DNJournal.com, which tracks Internet-domain sales, said that Tebowing.com “could easily find a buyer for two times annual revenue” (DENVER POST, 1/1).

THE DOWNSIDE OF THE WAVE: MARKETWATCH’s Jon Friedman writes following the Broncos' current three-game losing streak, Tebowmania is as “‘dead as fried chicken’ for two media-centric reasons.” If Tebow “were still a national phenomenon, the NFL would have scheduled the Broncos-Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game to be played in the marquee position of Saturday night.” Also, ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y. yesterday gave Tebow and the Broncos “a perfunctory review during its playoff preview.” A month ago, the announcers and pundits “would have been all over the Tebow story; on Tuesday, they reported on it out of a sense of obligation.” The Tebow story “carries a measure of poignancy -- and hard-headed realism." Friedman: "He goes to show just how quickly you can go from being a national obsession to a cautionary tale” (MARKETWATCH.com, 1/4).

NOT A BIG FAN CLUB IN BALTIMORE: Ravens LB Terrell Suggs appeared on ESPN2’s “First Take” yesterday and during a discussion with Skip Bayless about the team's playoff chances, Suggs said to Bayless, “Congratulations to you and your boy, you and your man crush. We know you got a little bit of a man crush with your boy out there in Denver.” Bayless, who is an unapologetic Tebow fan, replied, “The guy who took a 1-4 team to the AFC West championship? Is that the guy you’re talking about?” Suggs, sounding a bit disgusted, said, “Skip! He finished 8-8!” Bayless: “No, he finished 7-4. That was him as a starter.” Suggs said it was 8-8 and asked, “You know what we call that? That’s mediocrity.” Suggs: “That boy be praying on that sideline. I don’t feel comfortable I gotta pray every fourth quarter like, ‘Oh my God, come save me again’” (“First Take,” ESPN2, 1/3).
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