Remember all the hand-wringing about whether Tim Tebow could succeed as a professional quarterback and whether his views on abortion, chastity and other hot-button issues were just too outré for serious brand marketers to touch?
Well, you can stop crying for the former University of Florida quarterback.
He was selected in the first round of the NFL draft in April by the Denver Broncos, who seem to really want the young man on their team despite gridiron experts’ misgivings about his throwing motion.
And now Jockey has signed the “unmarketable” quarterback of two national-championship teams.
As the new American face of Jockey, Tebow joins an athletics bench that includes rugby star Dan Carter, the face of the brand in the U.K.
The Kenosha, Wis.-based underwear brand announced that Tebow will begin serving as its U.S. spokesperson immediately, and for several years to come.
He will work with several of Jockey’s lines, including the “Staycool” collection that launches in the spring. He’ll be featured in Jockey’s print, TV and online advertisements, and in its social media outreach.
For Tebow, the endorsement marks a quick redemption and a stick in the ear of the many doubters who said his outspoken conservatism would be the kiss of death in the world of brand marketing. With the Broncos’ training camp opening soon, it’ll be up to his performance on the field to thwart the skeptics of his throwing motion.
For Jockey, linking with Tebow represents more of a risk. The brand hasn’t exactly been goody-two-shoes over the years, ranging from its iconic advertisements with a semi-naked Baltimore Orioles star pitcher Jim Palmer many years ago, to a series of risqué campaigns since then. But Jockey management seems to know what they’re getting.
“Tim is a highly gifted athlete with a positive attitude and an admirable character,” remarked Jockey Chairman and CEO Debra S. Waller. “We at Jockey see a very bright future with Tim, and believe that he is an excellent representative for the brand. Tim is genuine, smart and driven and those qualities align well with Jockey.”
For his part, Tebow said, “I’m excited to represent the Jockey brand and to work with such an innovative company.”
Hmm, that sounds like two parties very happy with their new relationship. Let’s hope the honeymoon lasts!