On Sept. 8, the New York Mets signed former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow to a minor league contract. He then began his professional baseball career in the fall instructional league as of Sept. 19 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Regardless of how baseball pans out for the now 29-year-old, signing him was still a brilliant public relations move for the Mets.
Tebow is a unique and talented athlete, with a fan base as devout as his own faith. It goes without being said that wherever Tebow ends up, his fans inherently seem to follow. Throughout the former Heisman Trophy winner’s five-year NFL career, he led the league in jersey sales two years in a row.
This trend seemed to even carry into his new professional sport, as well. On the same day that Tebow participated in his first Instructional League workout with the Mets, his jersey was the top seller among Mets at MLBShop.com and Fanatics.com. From a fiscal standpoint, signing Tebow makes plenty of sense. Fans will not only buy his jersey, but if history repeats itself, ticket sales for the New York Mets minor league games will skyrocket as well.
But what does Tebow do for a team’s image? Although the Mets public relations team has not recently been dealing with negative media coverage as other professional sports teams have, the Mets just competed in the playoffs, and Tebow seems to inadvertently negate negative media with his presence. Tebow frequently preforms acts of charity, volunteer work and fundraisers. Any self-driven philanthropist, such as Tebow, is a public relations practitioners dream come true.
If you are like me, you hate to have to see Tebow give up football. If you are the NFL, you may hate it even more. It goes without being said, but the NFL has been spotlighted for far more negative media coverage than positive recently, and public relations practitioners are frequently the ones who are responsible for dealing with it.
“While all of us have jokes, we here at the NFL wish Tebow nothing but the best of luck,” said Connor Orr, Around the NFL Writer. “In my one season covering Tebow while he was a member of the Jets, it was easy to see how passionate he was about anything he threw himself into. Now, that happens to be baseball as a member of the Mets.”
Regardless of how Tebow’s professional baseball career pans out, his positive presence is a public relations tool in its own, and is one the NFL will surely miss.
Zac is a senior public relation student and a student athlete at the university. As a three year starter on the varsity football team, Zac also competed in track and field last spring. Zac is a member of the WUPRSSA Executive Board, serving as treasurer, along with a member of Waynesburg’s Business club. Zac also serves as a representative of Waynesburg’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.