By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
October 27, 2011
If Tim Tebow leads the Broncos to another improbable victory like he did on Sunday, prepare for a resurrection of national Tebow mania.
The quarterback, best known for his missionary work, commitment to God and community, and pro-life Super Bowl ad, became a superstar during his college career, when he won the Heisman Trophy and led the Florida Gators to the BCS National Championship in 2008. Tebow’s omnipresence, good deeds, and pitbull playing style even spawned a whole new litany of “Tebowisms,” such as:
Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas
When Google can’t find something, it asks Tim Tebow for help
In the beginning there was nothing. Then Tim Tebow stiff-armed that nothing in the head
and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe
Tim Tebow is the reason Waldo is hiding
Despite starting just three games for the Broncos last season, and looking like he would never live up to his athletic promise, Tebow remains a fan favorite in stadiums across the U.S. When the Broncos played the Dolphins last weekend at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee told Dolphins beat writers beforehand that "nearly 20,000 tickets have been sold since Tebow was named the starter eight days ago -- 10,000 tickets by the team and nearly 10,000 in the secondary market on websites such as StubHub.” As another carrot for fans in Florida, Sunday’s game included a celebration of the 2008 national championship team. As the Miami Herald’s Greg Cote reported afterward, “the Dolphins honoring the Gators on Sunday meant half of the crowd was cheering for the opponent’s quarterback.” During the game Tebow “busted off a 21-yard run and a huge cheer arose -- as if the game were in Denver, or in Gainesville.”
Currently, Tebow has limited his endorsements to Nike, EA Sports, and Jockey, although he claims to have turned down several seven-figure endorsement deals in order to better focus on the Broncos. But the heavenly endorsement skies are the limit for Tebow if he continues to win. In a recent The Marketing Arm Celebrity DBI test, Tebow ranks above the Cowboys’ Tony Romo and the Patriots’ Tom Brady in the “Appeal” category, and outranks the two active quarterbacks as well as Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Troy Aikman in the “Breakthrough, Trendsetter, and Trust” categories.
Affirms GameDay Merchandising COO Martin Garafolo, whose company runs the Broncos’ official team stores, to the Denver Post, “Tim’s definitely won this town over. His popularity is just unbelievable here.”