Here’s your tongue-twisting Tim Tebow news for the day: The New York Jets backup quarterback has signed on as the new spokesman for TiVo, the home television and Internet recording device. TiVo announced the sponsorship Wednesday morning, with a one-minute video featuring Mr. Tebow extolling the virtues of TiVo (confused yet?)
“It’s not just an ordinary DVR. It’s like a magic box that goes out …and gets everything you like and brings it right to you,” Tebow says.
“It’s a player that can do more than one thing, which I respect,” he smiles, alluding to his multithreat, multiposition status for the Jets (he passes, runs, blocks, occasionally catches, etc. – with a degree of effectiveness that's hotly debated).
“I’ve decided to be their spokesperson, and not just because the name sounds cool,” he says, before ending with the tagline “TiVo makes TV about a thousand times better.”
According to The New York Times, TiVo plans to run at least six commercials featuring the quarterback, and the ads will begin running Nov. 27. TiVo is the first company to announce a national endorsement deal with Tebow since he was traded to the Jets in March. He already has sponsorships with Nike, Jockey, and FRS Health Energy.
Tebow’s reach goes beyond his endorsement deals, however: At the height of his run playing for the Denver Broncos last year, his memoir, “Through My Eyes,” spent 24 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and became the top selling religion book of 2011. Though he’s played much of his two and half-season NFL career as a backup, he’s been the subject of two documentaries, on ESPN and the NFL network.
And Tebowmania has the potential to ramp up again in the coming weeks, for better or worse. His current team, the New York Jets, is 3-6, tied for last place in the AFC East division. That combined with subpar play of Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez (who ranks last among NFL QBs in completion percentage) has some calling for Tebow to take the reins – renewing the sometimes vitriolic debate over his effectiveness as an NFL quarterback. The New York Daily news reported Wednesday that a group of anonymous Jets players called Tebow “terrible” and suggested he wasn’t’ even a quarterback, much less one who can help the team win football games.
Should Tebow wind up getting the start over Sanchez, the debate will launch into hyperdrive about whether he can rally his doubtful teammates to a better record. If he doesn’t, that will launch a new debate about which team could benefit from picking him up (and the first team on the list, as usual, will be Tebow’s hometown Jacksonville Jaguars).
But barring any disasters, Sanchez’s job is probably safe for now. He’s in the first year of a three-year contract extension, worth $40.5 million, and the Jets would probably like to avoid a contract that big riding the bench. And if the New York Daily News story is any indication, the Jets players are firmly behind Sanchez.
Either way, the goings on of the Jets locker room are going to dominate ESPN in the coming weeks, especially if the team and Sanchez continue to play poorly. Set your Tebow-endorsed TiVos.