SBD/May 1, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tim Tebow's Marketing Appeal Hurt By His Release From NFL Jets

Tebow’s Q rating dropped significantly after his time with the Jets
Sports business experts wonder if QB Tim Tebow, one of the “singular socio-cultural forces in recent memory will recover” from his recent release from the Jets, according to Wayne Coffey of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Forbes’ Kurt Badenhausen said, “It’s hard for corporate America to sign endorsement deals with guys we aren’t going to see on TV. People don’t want to be affiliated with a fringe player.” The Marketing Arm Senior VP/Consulting Bill Glenn said, “The way things went last year with the Jets has turned off that spotlight, at least temporarily.” Marketing Evaluations VP Henry Schafer, whose company creates Q Scores, said that while Tebow is “still affiliated with a number of companies, among them Jockey and EA,” Tebow’s Q rating has “fallen significantly as a result of what Schafer termed ‘the fiasco with the Jets.’” Tebow had an awareness rating of “83% among sports fans at the pinnacle of his popularity, after the Broncos’ playoff upset over the Steelers in January of 2012 -- a number that nearly doubles the awareness rate for the average celebrity athlete.” Tebow’s Q rating at the time -- the “number of respondents who rated him as one of their favorites -- was 22%.” Schafer said that a year later, in March ‘13, Tebow was “still known to 82% of sports fans, but his Q Score plummeted to 16% -- about typical among athletes.” Still, Schafer said that Tebow “continues to have significant appeal to the corporate world, by virtue of his name recognition, a guy who is a deity in shoulder pads to some, a polarizing preacher to others, but is a must-watch for most everybody” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/1).

RATED ROOKIES: ESPN's Darren Rovell noted there is not a "standout star in this year's NFL Draft" in regards to marketability, but companies "at least have their eyes on a few players." Jets draftee QB Geno Smith is "top of mind on nearby Madison Avenue if he can quickly rise to the top of the Jets' clouded quarterback roster." However, it is "hard to know who to talk to" after Smith fired his agents yesterday. Lions draftee DE Ziggy Ansah, the No. 5 overall pick, "has a catchy name, could start immediately and be the blue-collar PG-version of Ndamukong Suh that corporations won't be scared of." He is one of 11 draftees that have signed a deal with Nike. Meanwhile, 49ers draftee RB Marcus Lattimore may miss the enitre '13 season as he recovers from knee surgery, but he remains "intriguing." Rovell: "Hoping for the long-term play, Lattimore is Under Armour's only announced signee” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 4/30).
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