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).
The Players Championship opens today with PricewaterhouseCoopers serving as the only “proud partner” for the PGA Tour’s marquee event. It is the second straight year that The Players has had a single proud partner. The tournament’s partner list used to number three -- Swiss bank UBS and door and window company Jeld-Wen in addition to PwC. But UBS pulled out in '10 and Jeld-Wen departed last year prior to the tournament, even though it had a year left on its contract. Neither has been replaced. Several second-tier sponsors have visibility around the course. PwC signed an extension on its deal last year, making it a tournament partner through '17. The accounting firm enjoys branding throughout TPC Sawgrass and heavy advertising on NBC/Golf Channel, as well as a robust hospitality program. Proud partner deals at The Players can run as much as $12M a year, according to industry experts. The TV broadcasts feature limited commercials, compared to regular tour events, which enhances the value of the deal, sources said. Commercial breaks for The Players on NBC range from 4-7 minutes per hour, compared to 9-11 minutes for a typical PGA Tour event.
The Skins Game, an "annual fixture on the Canadian golf calendar for the last 20 years, will not be played this year and has been placed on hiatus until a new title sponsor can be found," according to Brad Ziemer of the VANCOUVER SUN. Telus, which had sponsored the event since '01, "decided not to renew its deal for the made-for-TV event." IMG Golf VP/Communications & PR Dave Haggith said that the company "hopes to find a new sponsor in time for the event to be played" in '14. Telus Senior Communications Manager Chris Gerritsen said, "It has been a rewarding experience on many levels, but it was time for a change." Ziemer noted the Skins Game has "attracted some strong fields over the years," with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia all participating at one point. But the event in recent years was "lacking marquee names." The Skins Game is "not the only Canadian golf property seeking a new title sponsor," as CN Rail in February announced it was "ending its sponsorship of the Canadian Women's Open" after this year's Aug. 22-25 event in Edmonton (VANCOUVER SUN, 5/5).
Steelers S Ryan Clark yesterday said that Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is the young NFL player currently with the best commercial. Referencing adidas' ad that promotes Griffin's return to the field for the start of the season, Clark said, "You talk about a great commercial, this guy makes me want to go workout. Every time I see it, I need to get into the gym. The man’s not even standing up and he’s doing ropes, he’s benching 225, things are blowing up." ESPN’s Sara Walsh said, “We love the RGIII commercial, but we also love the Derrick Rose commercial and he hasn’t come back yet. So we’re hoping that the RGIII commercial is not going down the same road.” ESPN's Tedy Bruschi: “Take it easy adidas” (“NFL Live,” ESPN, 5/8).
RUN FOR THE HILLS: The N.Y. Road Runners yesterday announced partnership agreements with New Balance and Oakley for two upcoming races. New Balance signed a multiyear deal to serve as the official apparel and footwear sponsor of the May 18 Brooklyn Half-Marathon. Oakley signed a two-year pact to become the official eyewear sponsor and apparel provider of the June 8 Oakley New York Mini 10K (THE DAILY).
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? In Milwaukee, Paul Gores reported Koss Corp. with the help of former U.S. Olympic swimmer Dara Torres is “promoting new headphones it says are the first ‘designed for women by women.’" The two new headphones by the Milwaukee-based company are “called the Koss Fit Series.” Koss said that FitClips “give the user three sizes of ear cushions” (JSONLINE.com, 5/8).
BEWARE OF DOG:In Boston, Gayle Fee notes there is a “new 60-foot Tom Brady billboard on the Mass Pike across from Fenway” that features the Patriots QB wearing UGGs alongside his pit bull, Lua. The ad “debuted this week” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/9).
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