Broncos QB Tim Tebow will make his "commercial debut next week as the first professional athlete to model Jockey underwear since Jim Palmer in 1980," according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Tebow will wear the company's Staycool products and will be "featured in a blitz of magazine ads and television appearances in the coming days." Tebow is "scheduled to appear at a Jockey event at Macy's in New York City's Herald Square in May, and he will be appearing in a national advertising campaign starting next week." He said, "People may say it's underwear, but everyone wears underwear -- it's not like I'm doing something risque." Schefter notes Tebow filmed the Jockey ad in L.A. "about a month after the season" (ESPN.com, 3/25). Tebow signed a three-year deal with Jockey last July.
GET THE VOTE OUT: Tebow is one of the 32 candidates in the running to land the cover of EA Sports' "Madden NFL 12" video game, but ESPN.com's Tim Graham noted the QB is "getting thumped" by Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles during the first round of online voting to determine the cover athlete. In another first-round matchup, Jets QB Mark Sanchez is "having a tougher time than expected" against Dolphins OT Jake Long. Voting for the opening round of the March Madness-style format ends Sunday (ESPN.com, 3/24).
Under Armour launched a marketing campaign for its new "Charged Cotton" line on Thursday starring Patriots QB Tom Brady that includes "print ads, a YouTube vid and his own Pandora Internet radio station," according to gossip columnists Fee, Raposa & Johnson of the BOSTON HERALD. Under Armour's activation around Brady "included a minute-long Web video chronicling the making of the Charged Cotton print campaign that was shot" in Boston in October. Brady signed a multiyear endorsement deal with the Baltimore-based brand last year (BOSTON HERALD, 3/25). In Boston, Ian Rapoport noted YouTube's front page on Thursday included "Under Armour's banner featuring Tom Brady and skier Lindsey Vonn, celebrating Charged Cotton." Under Armour's ad launch also included a dedicated Facebook page (BOSTONHERALD.com, 3/24).
A WISE INVESTMENT: WEEI.com's Christopher Price reported Brady has "replaced Tiger Woods as an example for economic theory in the academic world." The economic textbook "Principles of Economics" for several years has included a chapter entitled "Should Tiger Woods Mow His Own Lawn?" But author Greg Mankiw "replaced Woods with Brady" for the latest edition. Mankiw: "I wanted students to focus on the economics of comparative advantage -- the main point of this section of the book. I was afraid that keeping Tiger Woods in the hypothetical example would have raised thoughts of an altogether different set of issues" (WEEI.com, 3/24).
MLB's list of top-selling jerseys for '10 was discussed on ESPN2's "First Take" Thursday, and ESPN.com's Jemele Hill said she was "really surprised" Yankees SS Derek Jeter topped the list. Hill: "I suppose I shouldn't have been because he is in New York, he is a Yankee and he's very high profile." But Hill said she "would have thought someone like" Rangers CF Josh Hamilton, who ranked seventh, would top the list. She said her "first guess would have been" Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols, who ranked sixth. But ESPN's Skip Bayless said he is "not surprised at all" with Jeter topping the list. Bayless: "On the weekends I'm in New York City, and every other corner, No. 2 jerseys. ... He's still by far, to me, the biggest star in by far the biggest market in America. So what's the shock?" ESPN's Jay Crawford added, "I thought everybody that would want a Derek Jeter jersey by now has one. I mean, you would think it would be a young, up-and-coming star, and people were clamoring to get that jersey because they don't have it." Bayless noted he was "shocked" that Giants P Tim Lincecum is "only 10th on this list because I thought after the World Series, he would explode up into the top two or three." Bayless: "He seemed to be appealing to that sort of X Games demo, the younger kids who like that counterculture hero type." But Bayless added what "leaped out about this list is how starless this list looks to me compared to the NBA's list which just leaps with stars" ("First Take," ESPN2, 3/24). JETER NUMBER ONE AGAIN: Nielsen and E-Poll Thursday released their N-Score rankings, a measurement of the most marketable players in baseball, and Jeter tops the list. He is followed by Yankees P Mariano Rivera, Hamilton and Pujols. The N-Score measures name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, both at the national and local levels. Jeter also was named MLB's most marketable player in a survey conducted by THE DAILY last July (THE DAILY).
The Pennsylvania Lottery this week launched new $5 games featuring the Pirates and Phillies in the "second go-round for each club," both of which are "tops among the state's professional sports teams in the amount earned through lottery licensing fees: about $2.45 million each," according to Jason Cato of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. The Pirates and Phillies "shared an instant-win game in 2008, the lottery's first foray into games featuring professional franchises," and lottery officials said that the game sold $28.9M in tickets. The Steelers and Eagles both introduced $5 games in '09 and '10, and "sales over the two-year period were $53.8 million for the Steelers tickets and $38.9 million for the Eagles." Both the Steelers and Eagles "earned a little more than $2 million each through licensing fees." The Penguins and Flyers meanwhile "entered the fray" in '09, and their "shared $2 game sold $11.1 million in tickets, and the teams split $360,000 in licensing fees." Cato notes "no game ever has been introduced for the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, the state's only other major pro team" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/25).
In Minneapolis, Paul Walsh reports Twins C Joe Mauer sings a "few bars in a soon-to-be-released 'Explore Minnesota' commercial promoting tourism in the state." Mauer in the ad wears his catcher's gear and is "superimposed on a cartoonish version of the Target Field scoreboard screen." He then "joins others -- none with near his star power -- in a few more lines until the spot's conclusion." Explore Minnesota Tourism Senior Marketing Manager Leann Kispert said that the ads "start airing Monday morning" throughout the state, adding that "they'll spread to Iowa and Wisconsin and also air during Twins game telecasts" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/25).
THAT'S THE SPIRITS: Absolut Vodka Thursday announced that it is “continuing its partnership” with the Red Sox. The upcoming MLB season will mark the fifth year that the Absolut Clubhouse seating area at Fenway Park will play host to a “series of events and game day experiences while serving as a private venue before, during, and after the Red Sox home games.” The spirits company, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard USA, added it also will serve as the official vodka of Fenway Park in ’12 when the ballpark celebrates its 100th anniversary (BOSTON.com, 3/24).
THAT'S THE TICKET: Coconut water brand Zico earlier this month signed Celtics F Kevin Garnett to an endorsement deal, and Zico Beverages Founder & CEO Mark Rampolla said, “We've known for years that we've had a number of A-level, world-class professional athletes ... that have been using Zico and kind of turned to it as their natural sports drink. … When we found out that Kevin Garnett was one of them, that piqued my interest." Rampolla added, “We found out his contract with Gatorade was ending, and he actually approached us. We were very interested in the idea of having a relationship with him" ("Taking Stock," Bloomberg TV, 3/24). NO WAY, DUDE! ESPN.com's Doug Williams reported YES Snowboards unveiled its The Great Dudes Of History line in September, and they have been the Switzerland-based company's "top-selling boards (at about $400 a pop) ever since." The line, featuring the faces of Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Haile Selassie, John Lennon and John F. Kennedy, "has been praised by critics, even named Freestyle Board of the Year by one group." YES Snowboards co-Founder Romain De Marchi said that the "concept is that The Great Dudes all did great things and made positive changes, in line with the YES philosophy." The company plans to release a line of "great something of history" boards in September (ESPN.com, 3/22).