SBD/March 22, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Most Execs Expect Tim Tebow To Have Big Marketing Impact In N.Y.

Execs said Tebow's marketability reach is so strong it does not matter if he starts
Jets QB Tim Tebow, whom the team acquired from the Broncos in a trade yesterday, "sparked a national craze while playing his home games in Denver last fall, so marketing executives can only imagine the possibilities with Tebowmania headed for the nation's biggest media market," according to Jim Baumbach of NEWSDAY. Execs said that Tebow's marketability reach is so strong that it "doesn't even matter all that much that he won't be the Jets' starting quarterback." East Rutherford-based 16W Marketing Partner Frank Vuono said, "This is a marketer's dream. You only need to look at [Knicks G] Jeremy Lin to understand the publicity that can be generated here." Tebow has been "selective about the companies he aligns himself with, having signed deals only with a handful, including Nike and Jockey." FRS CMO Matt Kohler, whose company also has a deal with Tebow, said, "He's not just an endorser for hire." Kohler said that Tebow's popularity is "so strong that when he wore a beanie sporting the company's name to a news conference last year, the company's web traffic subsequently increased" by 800% that day (NEWSDAY, 3/22). Fox Business’ Dennis Kneale said Tebow going to the Jets “is just amazing news for New York City.” Kneale: “The last time we truly had a world-class, amazing cultural icon it was quarterback Joe Namath who’s quite the opposite from Tim Tebow.” Tebow will “reap millions upon millions of dollars if he wants to in celebrity product endorsement in that New York market” (Fox Business, 3/21). In N.Y., Brian Costello notes the Jets "certainly will see a jump in jersey sales and popularity with Tebow in the fold" (N.Y. POST, 3/22). NFL Corporate Communications Coordinator Joanna Hunter said that "no officially-licensed green-and-white Tebow jerseys were released until the back-and-forth deal was completed, per league policy" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/22). Tebow ranked fifth on THE DAILY's list of the most marketable NFL players. For the period of April 1, 2011, through Feb. 29, 2012, Tebow's jersey sales ranked No. 2 on NFLShop.com, behind only Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. QB Mark Sanchez was the only Jets' player in the top 25, coming in at No. 22 (THE DAILY). CNBC’s Darren Rovell said the marketing dollars for Tebow in N.Y. “could soar, depending on how much playing time he gets” (“Power Lunch,” CNBC, 3/21).

STEALING THE SHOW? N.Y.-based 5W Public Relations President & CEO Ronn Torossian said, "Tim Tebow can be the king. ... There is no bigger place to shine than in New York City and I think the Tebow brand is one that transcends sports. I think the guy can get unlimited sponsorships in New York City." However, N.Y.-based IF Management President & Founder Steve Herz said that Tebow "might not be embraced in New York as quickly as he was in Denver." Herz: "He will have a hard time being accepted for his outward religiosity. New Yorkers don’t wear their religion on their sleeves like they do in parts of Colorado." N.Y.-based Modell's Sporting Goods CEO Mitch Modell thinks that Tebow's religious fervor is something that will "enhance his popularity in the cultural melting pot" of N.Y. Modell said, "I think that’s what makes it so exciting. He’s like Linsanity of the Jets." Modell added that he will "work feverishly to get Tebow/Jets T-shirts and jerseys" into his N.Y. stores by tomorrow (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/22). NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal wrote Tebow in N.Y. will make Lin's N.Y. run "look like an off-Broadway play" (NFL.com, 3/21).
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