April 9, 2010: The controversy that surrounded Tim Tebow and his ad on CBS during Super Bowl XLIV seems not to have affected his status on Madison Avenue as a soon-to-be-drafted NFL rookie.
Tebow, who recently signed a deal with Nike, now adds an EA Sports videogame cover to his resume. The former Florida quarterback will be the cover athlete for NCAA Football 11 in Xbox, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 3 versions, which are scheduled to hit retail on July 13.
In 2009, EA Sports released the game with four different covers, featuring Michael Crabtree (Xbox 360), Brian Johnson (PlayStation 3), Brian Orakpo (PlayStation 2) and Mark Sanchez (PSP), respectively.
Tebow is scheduled to do a series of promotion in New York on April 20, including appearing at the EA Sports' Draft Night Premiere, where the cover will officially be unveiled.. The NFL Draft will be held in New York, April 22-24.
In a promo spot for the game, Tebow, wearing his Gators' jersey, explains, "I'm more of an NCAA guy than a Madden guy," referring to EA Sports mega-franchise, Madden NFL (11 is due out in August). "It's younger. Kids are playing for the love of the game. They're not getting paid for it. Plus, the rivalries are unparalleled by any other games anywhere. You have Ohio State-Michigan, USC-Notre Dame . . . The best rivalries in the world are in college football." The scene switches to Tebow playing the game and also includes behind-the scenes action of the cover shoot.
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.
"To be on the cover of NCAA Football 11 is truly an honor," said Tebow. "It's a dream come true for me. I've been playing the game since I was six or seven."
The series launched in 1993 as Bill Walsh College Football, the switched to College Football USA in 1996 before rebranding as NCAA Football 99, with University of Florida and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel on the cover. Among his numerous awards, Tebow won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and led Florida to victory in the BCS championship game in 2007 and 2009.
In a statement, EA Sports said that "Tebow is celebrated as one of the greatest college football players in history and is revered as an ambassador of college football." According to EA Sports, NCAA Football 11 will give players 120 ways to win "with real college offenses that, for the first time ever, reflect the authentic style of every NCAA FBS school. NCAA Football 11 recreates the intensity of college football Saturdays, achieving all-new levels of quality in core game play for the award-winning franchise."