While I readily admit I am not overwhelmed with Tim Tebow’s prospects as an NFL starting quarterback, he is not without assets that could help my favorite NFL team – the New York Jets. In fact the sting of Tebow’s 95 yard late fourth quarter march to victory over the Jets as a member of the Denver Broncos still smarts. Now Tebowmania will be coming to New York and while his addition hardly makes the Jets an immediate Super Bowl contender, the attention and buzz created by the signing shows the Jets understand that football is entertainment and if nothing else Tebow and the Jets offers great prospects for ongoing entertainment. Entertainment + fan engagement = marketing success.
So what if the Jet signing of Tebow was as much for marketing reasons as it was for football. The Jets just extended starting quarterback Mark Sanchez’s contract to five years at a total of $58.25 million. The concern that Mr. Sanchez’s feelings might be bruised with the addition of Tebow is totally overblown. Nobody should feel sorry for Mark Sanchez – he would tell you that himself.
No doubt the first time Sanchez throws a late game interception or fumbles the boo-birds will be out in force calling for Mr. Tebow to ‘take over’. The Jets management team was well aware of that but the allure of bringing in such an interesting player like Tim Tebow was too strong. By NFL standards Mr. Tebow’s contract at roughly $1 million per year makes him a pretty inexpensive backup/wildcat quarterback.
Was the move to bring in Tebow a thinly veiled attempt by the Jets to take back some of newspaper back pages lost to the New York Giants in their unlikely Super Bowl run to the championship this past season? Jet management would tell you no, this was a football move that makes the team better. But don’t think for a moment that the ‘added-value’ of having a New York Jets version of ‘Linsanity’ in ‘Tebowmania’ didn’t play a role in the decision. And is there really wrong with that?
I want to believe that having Tim Tebow take ten snaps a game at quarterback will contribute to the Jets finally returning to the Super Bowl. After all it’s been more than 43 years. Jet owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan have made the Jets a preferred destination for NFL players – let’s not forget that as recently as 5 years ago few players had desire to ‘be a Jet’.
If nothing else Tim Tebow’s tenure with the New York Jets will not be boring. However long it lasts.
Do you think marketing played a role in the Jets signing Tim Tebow?