- (Photo: AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Just weeks after capping his college football career with a win in the Sugar Bowl, Florida Gators’ star Tim Tebow is set to make an appearance during Super Bowl XLIV.
But it won’t be on the field that sports fans will see him.
It’ll be on television sets across America.
Tebow, 22, will be appearing with his mother in a 30-second commercial that will be watched by some 90 million people next month.
The commercial, produced by Focus on the Family, will present the Tebows’ personal story at a time when "families need to be inspired," according to Focus on the Family president and CEO Jim Daly.
“[T]he Tebows' story is such an important one for our culture to hear,” Daly stated in an announcement.
"They live what we see every day – that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation,” he added.
Though Focus on the Family gave little detail about the commercial, the presence of both Tebow and his mother in it, as well as the organization’s well-known pro-life stance, suggests that the story will include how Tebow’s mother refused to have an abortion while she was pregnant with him despite having suffered from a life-threatening infection. It is also well known that Pam Tebow, who was serving as a missionary when Tim was born in the Philippines, had homeschooled all of her children and worked to instill the family’s Christian beliefs along the way.
"Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive," Daly commented.
“Focus on the Family is about nurturing that desire and strengthening families by empowering them with the tools they need to live lives rooted in morals and values," he added.
To finance the ad, Focus on the Family received donations specifically to support the project from a handful of “very generous and committed friends.” And no money from the ministry's general fund was used, though 30-second commercials during the Super Bowl are reportedly selling for between $2.5 million and $2.8 million.
Centered on the theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” the Focus on the Family commercial will be the group’s first Super Bowl ad and will be revealed on Feb. 7 during CBS Sports' coverage of the game at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida.
Currently vying for a shot at this year's Super Bowl are the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and the New Orleans Saints in the National Football Conference and the New York Jets, San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts in the American Football Conference.
On Sunday, the Jets will face off against the Chargers while the Cowboys and the Vikings battle it out in Minneapolis. The winners of those games will be matched up against the Saints and the Colts, respectively.
Tebow, an outspoken Christian with a Heisman Trophy and two national titles under his belt, will enter the 2010 NFL Draft and has been mentioned as the potential first round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, his hometown team.
Tebow passed on the 2009 NFL Draft to return for his senior season at Florida in part to seize the opportunity that his large platform had given to him to make an impact on young people.
“And I also wanted to be loyal,” he added.
Tebow graduated last month with a degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences.