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The Manning Tebow Seismic Shift

03/23/2012

In the past few days a huge switch out occurred in the National Football League.

Free agent Payton Manning, undoubtedly Hall of Fame bound, signed a five-year $96 million dollar deal with the Denver Broncos. Within 24 hours the Broncos dealt starting quarterback, and media phenom, Tim Tebow to the New York Jets.

Manning is possibly the only quarterback who could have come into Denver to replace Tebow. Tim Tebow is so well liked in Denver that anyone other than the quarterback who is likely the finest to play the position in many years – would have been ridden out-of-town on horse.

Aside from the potential implications of what moving Manning to Denver and Tebow to New York does to divisions and opponents, there’s another big time shift that results. Marketing.

Tebow was the most talked-about player in the NFL last year. As a second-year quarterback Tebow came off the bench to lead the Broncos to the playoffs with a series of miraculous comeback victories, also touching off a worldwide craze known as “Tebowing” — dropping to one knee, elbow bent with forehead resting in hand, in prayer.

Ad Age reports, “Sports-marketing expert Bob Dorfman, the executive creative director at San Francisco’s Baker Street Advertising, predicted two months ago that Mr. Tebow’s success could push his endorsement portfolio from $1 million to $2 million into the eight-figure range. Being a backup (Tebow is predicted to back up starter Mark Sanchez) drags that figure down — but not by as much as if he’d gone to another team. “If there’s one place Tim Tebow can go and sit on the bench and still keep his brand intact, it’s New York,” said Mr. Dorfman.'”

Manning, in spite of not playing the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury, remains a top draw for marketers. In 2011 Manning was ranked #4 in the Sports Illustrated “Fortunate 50“, a ranking of top earners in professional American Sports. Manning earned $15 million for endorsements alone.

So Manning’s star power goes West and gives the big time spot light to mid-sized market Denver.

While Tebow’s larger-than-life presence goes to the world’s largest media market.

Throw in the bashing taken by members of th the New Orleans Saints organization for “Bounty-gate” and 2012 is shaping up to one heck of an NFL season. And it’s only March.

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