July 27, 2010: Tim Tebow has not yet played a regular season game as a member of the NFL, but he already has scored an impressive number of marketing deals. The latest is Jockey International, which said that the rookie quarterback has signed a multi-year contract effective immediately to represent the company in advertising. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Tebow is the latest sports figure to endorse men's underwear. Michael Jordan is the leading sports spokesman for Hanes. David Beckham used to endorse Calvin Klein before switching to sibling Emporio Armani. Perhaps the best-known male athlete to endorse men's underwear was then MLB pitcher Jim Palmer, a Jockey spokesman about 30 years ago.
In its most recent report on the category, marketing and research firm Mintel said that total sales of men's underwear would sales of men's briefs in 2009 were estimated at $4.8 billion, down 2.3% from 2008. In a separate report, marketing and research company NPD Group said that men's underwear sales were up 8-9% in the first quarter of 2010 versus a year ago after dropping 4-6% over the previous two years.
Tebow, who was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos, also has deals with Nike and EA Sports. In addition, his Broncos' jersey has been the No. 1 selling jersey in the league from the time it was made available through the most recent sales figures through the end of June, according to NFLShop.com.
Tebow will work with several of Jockey's lines, including the Jockey "Staycool" collection, which lis scheduled to launch in Spring 2011. Tebow will be featured in Jockey's catalog, TV and print advertisements and on www.Jockey.com, and will also collaborate with Jockey "on unique content for social media platforms."
"Tim is a highly gifted athlete with a positive attitude and an admirable character," Debra Waller, Jockey chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "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. We look forward to building a long and collaborative relationship with him in the coming years."
According to Tebow, "I'm excited to represent the Jockey brand and to work with such an innovative company," said Tebow. "I've long been a fan and consumer of Jockey, and think they make a quality product with a great fit. I'm looking forward to a great relationship with such a respectable company."
Tebow made national headlines earlier this year when he appeared in a commercial with his Mom, Pam, for Focus on the Family. It aired during Super Bowl XLIV, with a softer family-values version of what had been described as an anti-abortion message. Tebow's agent is Jimmy Sexton, president at Athletic Resource Management, Memphis.