Profit Over Product

Posted: October 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you follow the NFL (it’s okay if you don’t) chances are you have a general idea of who Tim Tebow is.  For those who don’t know the former Florida Gators quarterback, let’s just say he’s the ideal candidate for any ad team looking to find a face for their brand.  Tim Tebow has been the most speculated player in NFL history ever since he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010.

The debate surrounding Tebow is whether or not he is capable of having success as a quarterback in the NFL.  Seeing that Tebow is a national icon, media outlets have been buzzing about the controversy surrounding the former Gators quarterback.  Social media outlets such as Twitter have been taken over by Tebow nation and the quarterback has been trending all over the internet with no sign of slowing down.

This past weekend the controversy thickened when Tebow replaced Broncos starting quarterback Kyle Orton, nearly leading his team to a 4th quarter comeback.  Despite losing the game, the Broncos announced Tuesday that Tebow would be the starter from here on out.  The controversy finally reached a verdict, one that Tebow nation had been anticipating since the day he turned pro.

So why does all this matter?   The fact is the NFL is a business and players who had success at the college level now enter a scenario that demands immediate productivity.  At the professional level there’s no such thing as offering favors or providing special treatment.  The NFL is a “what can you do for me right now” type of league.  That is unless you’re Tim Tebow.

Confused? You’re not the only one.  Let me explain.  Have you ever heard the saying “money makes the world go around?”  Professional sports live and die by this saying.  In 2010 the NFL generated $9 billion in revenue, which gives you an idea of the amount of pressure players and coaches are under to win games.  However, Tim Tebow provides a different approach.  When Tebow was first drafted many sports analysts speculated that the Broncos would use Tebow as a PR stunt in order to increase jersey sales, game attendance and overall to generate more revenue for their organization.  This tactic seems to have been affective; just ask Denver fans.

Prior to Tebow, the Broncos were one of the worst organizations in the NFL and the only time you heard about the team was if a player made the news for reasons off the field.  Tim Tebow placed the Broncos organization on his back and now his number 15 jersey can be seen anywhere you look.  Can you guess who had the top selling NFL jersey in 2010? Correct  … Tim Tebow! Top 25 NFL Jersey Sales

With the addition of Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos have seen increased fan support and significant media coverage. Photo provided by Jeffrey Beall

The point at hand is that marketing and public relations play a larger role in professional sports than ever before.  A guy like Tim Tebow with so much profitability has a lot more to offer than just his ability on the field.  The Denver Broncos have used Tim Tebow as a prime example of how to market a brand around a specific player.  Would Tebow have been offered the starting quarterback role without his significance amongst the media as a national role model?  I’ll leave that question for the ESPN analysts to debate.  Hell, what do I know?  I’m just a sports junkie with an opinion.

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