SBD/March 27, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tim Tebow's Marketability Rises With Introduction As Jets QB

Around 200 credentialed media showed up for Tebow’s introductory press conference
Jets QB Tim Tebow, who was officially introduced at a press conference yesterday, “is one of the top five most coveted celebrity endorsements,” according to a new marketing index cited by Janon Fisher of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Nielsen/E-Poll N-Score data shows that Tebow “trails only Oprah Winfrey, Adele and Kate Middleton as the personality who would most effectively shill your product.” Under its formula, Tebow scored a 180 and “moved up from the 40th spot he got last December.” The index puts him “at No. 6 as a trendsetter -- on par with Katy Perry and Beyonce” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/27). However, 5W Public Relations President & CEO Ronn Torossian said that Tebow “will have to tread a fine line regarding his faith.” Torossian said, “He shouldn’t come on too hard, because New York is a different kind of place than before. The key is not to overdo it” (Bergen RECORD, 3/27). Deutsch Inc. Chair Donny Deutsch said of Tebow coming to N.Y., “He couldn’t have made a worse move. This will be his Waterloo. New York will take him down. We are a very tough, jaded city. They’re not going to buy this unconditional love. I wish I was advising him. He should have steered right to Jacksonville.” But TV personality Star Jones said, “If he is authentic, then it will be fine” (“Today,” NBC, 3/27).

MEDIA CIRCUS: In Toronto, Bill Lankhof reports yesterday around 200 "credentialed media showed up for Tebow’s introductory press conference,” and Tebow spoke “facing at least 35 TV cameras in the largest news conference in team history.” Jets Owner Woody Johnson “decided long ago that if he can’t own a Super Bowl, he can at least own the New York media." He wants the Jets "to be the No. 1 team in town” (TORONTO SUN, 3/27). YAHOO SPORTS’ Dan Wetzel noted the event “was so big the Jets moved it from the traditional interview room to their indoor practice field, where space wouldn’t be an issue.” There were some “aggressive marketing techniques by some of his sponsors -- for which he shouldn’t be held responsible, either.” A backup QB has "never had a giant Jockey billboard placed above the Lincoln Tunnel, either.” Tebow said of his new teammates, “Hopefully they know I had nothing to do with that. I don’t think that’ll have any effect to people in the locker room” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/26). In Newark, Steve Politi writes this was “a great first impression under tough circumstances.” The Jets “insisted this entire show was done for our benefit, to meet the hundreds of media requests, but it’s clear they want it both ways with their new celebrity player.” They want “all the attention (and jersey sales), but want people to believe he’s just a backup” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/27). NBC Sports Network’s Pete Najarian said, “The interesting thing is here we are in late March -- we're not talking about the Super Bowl champs, we’re not talking about the New York Yankees. We're talking about Tim Tebow and this press conference, which says a lot for who this guy is and what he does bring. This is a great business decision by the Jets” (“NBC Sports Talk,” NBC Sports Network, 3/26).

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes Tebow “was likeable, an aw-shucks guy trying hard to make his points,” and “it worked” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/27). In New Jersey, J.P. Pelzman writes Tebow “said all the right things and hit all the proper notes” during his introduction yesterday (Bergen RECORD, 3/27). On Long Island, Tom Rock writes the new QB “was calm, charming and charismatic.” Rock: “Tebow’s arrival may not be the biggest event in Jets history. Yet. But right now, it’s the most compelling story the team has had” (NEWSDAY, 3/27). In New Jersey, Tara Sullivan writes Tebow made “an admirable debut on the New York media market Monday, displaying the infectious joy, passion and sincerity that has catapulted him to a fame far beyond the reaches of his professional talent” (Bergen RECORD, 3/27). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes Tebow “won the press conference.” Vaccaro: “It is impossible not to come away impressed, harder not to like him” (N.Y. POST, 3/27). In Boston, Gerry Callahan writes Tebow “hasn’t yet put on a Jets uniform and already he is the most fascinating man” in N.Y. Callahan notes the N.Y. Daily News is “considering assigning a full-time reporter to Tebow” (BOSTON HERALD, 3/27).

DON'T BLAME ME: Tebow said yesterday during the press conference that “he was not to blame for Monday’s media gathering.” He said, “The reason we are here is because I have bosses, too, and they made me do it” (NYPOST.com, 3/26). N.Y. Daily News’ Kevin Armstrong said, “I thought he came across great. Anytime that you blame management for holding a press conference you will win over reporters. ... There was a genuine aspect to it, putting the message out to his teammates and saying, ‘You know, this wasn't my idea to have the press conference, but here I am and I will put a good face on it any way you want’” ("Daily News Live," SportsNet N.Y., 3/26). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said Tebow, “through no fault of his own, has become the most over-discussed person in the modern history of sports in America." Wilbon: "It’s obscene now what attends this kid’s every move.” ESPN's Tony Kornheiser noted not just sports media attended Tebow’s presser, but “op-ed guys, gossip guys, style writers.” Kornheiser: “He’s already the biggest thing in New York City.” Wilbon added, “This is an indictment of the mass media in the United States” (“PTI,” ESPN, 3/26).

KHAN SURPRISED: Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan said he was “surprised” by Tebow’s decision to play for the Jets. Khan: “Frankly, I thought he would be picking Jacksonville because of the chance to play in his hometown. But this is a free country, and he has the right. I would be disappointed if he was in (Jacksonville) but didn’t want to be here” (N.Y. POST, 3/27).
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