By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
October 27, 2011
October, 2011. A man. A plan. A rodent.
Forgetting for a minute the NBA lockout that drags on, and the blizzard of breast cancer pink on NFL fields, a sports business snapshot of October would burst with three colorful images: the return to prominence of a certain Tim Tebow; the move west of Theo Epstein, and the dramatic World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Stealing the hearts and minds of World Series watchers, alongside some guys named Pujols and Napoli, is a squirrel.
Tebow, former Boston Red Sox General Manager and EVP Epstein, and Buschy the squirrel have more in common than you might think. All three are charismatic, media-savvy – and marketable. All of their brands can be found on highly sought-after apparel items – Tebow’s #15 jersey has consistently been one of the NFL’s top-sellers since he was drafted by the Denver Broncos 18 months ago, the squirrel has scads of merchandise, and the front office Epstein even has an official jersey on sale at MLB.com for $184.95.
Perhaps more tellingly, all have impressive numbers of Facebook friends and fan groups and Twitter followers: 327,882 for Tebow and 28,300 for the Rally Squirrel, and lots of folks pretending to be Epstein.
As such, considering the size of their fan bases, they’re all poised for breakout marketing and endorsement deals.