SBD/May 9, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Companies Standing Behind Tebow Despite His Uncertain Future In The NFL

Jockey is among the brands sticking by Tebow despite his free agent status
Jockey, TiVo, FRS and Nike are “so far standing by” Tim Tebow following his release last week from the NFL Jets, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. TiVo Corporate Communications Dir Steve Wymer said, "Tim's relationship with TiVo has always been intended to go beyond football and it continues to be about more than just Tim's incredible accomplishments on the field. We'll just have to see how things develop." FRS PR Dir Carli LaForgia said that the company “is ‘proud’ to sponsor Mr. Tebow despite his questionable playing future.” LaForgia: "Tim is more than just a spokesperson for the FRS brand and we will continue to stand by him on and off the field.” Jockey and Nike both confirmed Tebow was still an endorser for their products, but did not offer any further statements. McCarthy reported The Marketing Arm's DBI index of 3,000 celebrities shows that Tebow’s career issues have “hurt his overall image.” Tebow's "Aspiration" scores from December ‘11 to May ’13 “dropped from the august levels of Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson and Will Smith to those of Eli Manning, Emmitt Smith and Jennifer Garner.” His "Breakthrough" score -- the “degree to which consumers take notice of a celebrity when he appears on TV or in print -- dropped from George Clooney levels to the Danny DeVito and Drew Barrymore range” (ADAGE.com, 5/8).

SPOTLIGHT TOO BRIGHT: YAHOO SPORTS’ Michael Silver writes it has become clear that Tebow "has no viable landing spot” with an NFL team, and “Tebowmania is at least partly to blame.” The “incessant media and fan attention that accompanies his presence on the depth chart is an even bigger concern” than his issues as a QB. An NFL coach said, "It’s just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it." Another NFL coach said, "You don't want to put up with the circus" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/9). CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel asked, "Any idea how many NFL teams -- from the owner to the general manager to the coach to the locker room -- want a backup quarterback who is considered the most influential athlete in the country? Zero. You've done this, Tebow fans. You've loved Tebow's career to death" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/8).

STILL A PART OF MAINSTREAM CULTURE: CBS’ David Letterman during his monologue last night asked, "Remember Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Jets?” After only a few people clapped lightly, Letterman said, “It's like the Chilean miners. You've given up, haven't you!? Forbes magazine named Tim Tebow most influential athlete of the year … (and) here's the announcement. Watch this.” A taped “announcement” then aired and the voiceover said, “Forbes would like to congratulate Tim Tebow for being named most influential athlete for 2013. By ‘influential’ we mean a compelling figure who gets the public's attention on issues and by athlete we mean someone who does this.” Video was shown of Tebow sitting on the bench wearing a baseball cap. The voiceover added, “Forbes. Still in print” (“Late Show,” CBS, 5/8).
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