celebrity brandmatch

Why Tebow Passed On Gatorade For FRS

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 11, 2011 11:30 AM

First, let's address the biggest question about the new Tim Tebow spot for FRS above: Who exactly said Tebow wouldn't be a first round draft pick?

Now that's out of way, let's look at the very interesting paring of rookie NFL quarterback and the rookie energy beverage brand that is FRS. We're certainly not the only ones intrigued by the superstar's decision to sign with an unknown brand, especially when the star won his Heisman and his NCAA national championship with the University of Florida — the birthplace of Gatorade.

Tebow may be a rookie, but he's a popular one. Despite being forced to sit the bench for much of the 2010 season, and despite the fact that his Broncos team is not in the playoffs, Tebow's jersey is nonetheless the #3 best-seller, according to early January sales reports from NFLShop.com.

Nike's Tebow-inspired shoes sold out in minutes upon their release in August 2010. So far, underwear brand Jockey says it's happy with Tebow as its spokesman, after signing him last summer. Reports, meanwhile, indicate that Pepsi (Gatorade's owner) and Coca-Cola are vying for Tebow's endorsement.

The brand relationship between Tebow and FRS is unique on the celebrity brandmatch landscape. Usually, an up-and-coming athlete signs with an already established brand, which uses his buzz to prove the august brand's youth and signal to fans that's hep to the zeitgeist, and in touch with the future. Alternatively, an established, a well-known superstar athlete might sign with a young brand trying to make its mark. In both approaches, it's clear who is leveraging whom. Not the case with Tebow and FRS.

It's noteworthy that FRS has also partnered with superstar athletes Derek Jeter Fisher and Lance "I'll endorse anything" Armstrong (who reportedly got an ownership piece for his role).

One reason Tebow may have chosen FRS over other larger names is the greater range of flexibility the brand affords Tebow to develop his brand the way he wants. On the webpage FRS dedicates to the spokesman is a section about the Tebow Foundation, which notes, "The Tim Tebow Foundation, established in January 2010, utilizes the public platform that God has blessed Tim Tebow with to inspire and make a difference in people’s lives throughout the world."

This kind of secular identification is something for which Tebow is known, and loved by some. Tebow, controversially, appeared in an anti-abortion Super Bowl ad last year. That ad didn't air aired despite great outcry, with CBS forced to justify its actions. It's a kind of secular messaging that generally does not appeal to huge brands… huge brands, for instance, like Coke and Pepsi.

FRS and Tebow, both of which intrigue larger audiences but remain untested, have a lot in common. And it will be a neat trick if both brands manage to climb up on the other's shoulders to get a head up on the competition.


Shane United States says:

Wow, I love when ignorant people write about sports when they don't know what they are talking about. "Who exactly said tebow wouldn't be a first round draft pick?" Well, let's start of with top two who said it, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. And Todd McShay BOTH had him as a third rounder. Every single Internet mock draft excluded him from the first round (at least that I saw). Plus every local radio station from Gainesville to Portland didn't think he was a first rounder. Also, NFL network had him as a secound rounder I believe. Not to mention the fact that NOBODY wanted to give him a chance to be a quarterback at the next level. So please, please, please at least try to make it look like you did SOME research on your next "article". Hack.

January 11, 2011 12:19 PM #

Michael United States says:

FYI... this is a website about branding, not a sports blog.

January 11, 2011 12:42 PM #

Carson United States says:

"It's noteworthy that FRS has also partnered with superstar athletes Derek Jeter and Lance "I'll endorse anything" Armstrong (who reportedly got an ownership piece for his role)."

Derek Jeter doesn't endorse FRS.  He endorses Gatorade.

January 11, 2011 01:12 PM #

A Sauer United States says:

Carson. My mistake. Reading/typing too fast. Thanks.

January 11, 2011 04:16 PM #

Elliott Krejci United States says:

High Fructose Corn Syrup... that's why he went with FRS. Boo yah!

January 11, 2011 01:50 PM #

hallie United States says:

Umm yea, just about every NFL analyst said Tim Tebow would go in either the 3rd or 4th round.

Need to get you facts straight.

January 11, 2011 03:01 PM #

Caleb United States says:

Todd McShay even said the week before the draft he would be lucky to hear his name called in the 2nd and early 3rd round of the draft. Did anybody watch the Tim Tebow special on ESPN? That's what drove him to become better for the draft and all the work that was put in was motivated by the fact he wasn't content with being selected in the 3rd or 4th round where everyone said he would be picked!

January 11, 2011 04:44 PM #

jackson United States says:

Talk about errors, it's Derek Fisher, not Derek Jeter.  Please tell us the multitude that said Tebow WOULD be a first round draft pick . . .

January 11, 2011 03:58 PM #

job United States says:

And that "anti-abortion" ad your talking about, that you say didn't air, DID air! And it was a celebration of Tebow's relationship with his Mom!

January 11, 2011 04:14 PM #

Nick United States says:

yea a little research before you not only print something in an article but make an attempt to correct the record in such an arrogant way.  Nobody picked, I mean nobody picked Tebow to be a first round draft pick.  Most analyst thought he would have to be converted to tight end and couldn't play quarterback.  I remember Jamie Dukes being upset almost angry that mcDaniels would trade draft picks to get him.  

January 11, 2011 09:49 PM #

drose1 United States says:

Tebow is the shish he'll soon be dominating the NFL.  I hope all the haters keep on hating because it seems like he really loves it.  This guy is a beast. Mcshay, Kiper those guys are idiots, but i really love those idiots in chicago Boers and Bernstein. Those guys talk smack  about TEBOW every freakin day on a chicago sports radio show!!WTF does tebow have to do with chicago!  Oh the hate spewing from a midgets mouth!!!

January 11, 2011 11:15 PM #

Darien United States says:

Ok guy, you lost me when you asked who didn't pick Tebow to be a first rounder.  That would probably be about 90% of the football analysts and coaches out there before the 2010 draft.  There were a few exceptions such as Gruden and Dungy who thought he would go in the first round.  You also need to look up the definition of "secular" since it actually means non-religious and contradicts the argument you're trying to make which is shaky.  Tebow has signed with mainstream companies (Nike, Jockey, EA) that don't mind his religious background.

January 12, 2011 02:01 AM #

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