Tim Tebow was recently announced as a backup quarterback for the New York Jets football team. But when it comes to being a spokesperson for a product, he is a first-stringer.
According to the findings of a new marketing index, the outspoken Christian quarterback's endorsement is one of the most marketable among today's celebrities.
Sports Illustrated asked The Marketing Arm to update their Davie-Brown Index (DBI) – a marketing formula which measures 3,000 celebrities in eight different categories – and found that the only celebrities better suited to promote a product are Oprah Winfrey, Adele and Kate Middleton, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
When scoring the celebrities, the DBI takes into account factors such as trust, aspiration, appeal, influence, approachability, sincerity and experience. Tebow scored 180 points on the index while, in comparison, New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez scored just 12 points.
While he was still with the Denver Broncos, Tebow's popularity translated into big-time jersey sales. His was the second best-selling NFL jersey of 2011, according to CNBC, and was only outdone by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets organization is located in the largest sports and media market in the U.S., which is part of the reason for the Tebow-mania that has caught fire even during the NFL's off-season. While the media frenzy over Tebow's trade from Denver to New York has somewhat settled, the latest drama is the battle between two of the world's biggest sports apparel brands over the right to sell Jets products bearing Tebow's name.
On Wednesday, Nike filed a lawsuit against Reebok claiming that the company went out of bounds when they created and sold merchandise bearing Tebow's name and the New York Jets logo. The suit, which was published in its entirety on deadspin.com, claims Reebok is taking advantage of the media frenzy surrounding the Tebow trade, but without proper authorization.
"Reebok has taken it upon itself to illegitimately seize on this unique and short-lived consumer opportunity," the suit claims.
The suit says Reebok did not obtain Tebow's permission before it began creating Jets t-shirts and other products with his name on them, and companies need a license both from the NFL and from Tebow before they can legally manufacture such products. A representative of Tebow allegedly sent Reebok a letter on Mar. 24 that said the company should stop manufacturing the "offending products" and remove them from store shelves.
Tebow currently promotes a number of products, including EA sports, Jockey underwear, Nike products and more. As of April 1, Nike will succeed Reebok as the supplier of NFL team uniforms. All 32 of the new team uniform designs are to be unveiled on Apr. 3 during a media event in New York City.