On April 17, at an event in Nashville, TN, Tim Tebow said his Super Bowl ad for Focus on the Family cost him sponsorship deals. He didn’t say who objected to his pro-life, pro-traditional family (some would say anti-woman, anti-equality) message. If these companies do not support his values, he’s right not to shill for them.
The recently graduated University of Florida quarterback is learning the ropes as a sports celebrity, trying to find the right balance between his athletic and personal lives. That is: creating value without compromising values.Tim is not looking for potential paydays. His contract with the Denver Broncos will be solidified in the next week or two. And lucrative endorsement deals are still on the table—most likely with EA Sports and Nike (can one company support both upright Tebow and low down Tiger Woods? Or is there a Chinese wall between the golf and football departments?)
In the meantime, to keep body and soul together, Tebow seems to be monetizing being a role model. On March 6, he signed autographs—for $160 each—at a mall in Jacksonville. Pictures with the Heisman Trophy winner were a relative bargain at $75. Florida Times Union estimated 1,500 people came for pics and pennings. According to TimTebowFoundation.org, “Some of the proceeds from this event will help to jump start the Tebow Foundation. Since this is a fund-raising event, there is a cost to participate with a portion of all ticket and store sales from the event benefiting the new Foundation.”
Tim promises that his foundation “exists to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in the darkest hour.” (Is anyone noticing that his language is a lot more inexact than his pass placement?) Thus far his good works consist of letting a pediatric cancer survivor meet him. There may be more, but the site hasn’t been updated since March 30. Tebowzone.com, on the other hand, is updated at least daily.
In short, it looks like Tim could use some help shaping and controlling his image.