Tim Tebow was the most marketable college athlete of all time

Internet Marketing

Before Katy Perry dedicated a song to Tim Tebow and maybe started dating him.

Before “Tebowing” became a word.

Before YouTube exploded over “All He Does is Win”.

Before the absurd NFL comebacks.

Before Timsanity hit the New York tabloids.

Before the SNL parodies.

Before all of that, there was Tim Tebow, Florida Gators quarterback. Heisman Trophy winner. Two-time national champion. Deliverer of “The Promise”. The Missionary Work.

Love him or hate him (I still don’t understand the latter), Tim Tebow is known for a lot of things. And widely known at that.

ESPN recently ran a series on College Football Brands, examining some of the top programs in college football from a marketing perspective.

The most intriguing was the one on the Florida Gators.

Of course the Gators are one of the top brands in college football, but still haven’t filled the void Tebow left when he departed for the NFL.

The reason: It’s impossible to fill that void.

Think about the history of college football. Never has a player even come close to having the brand power that Tebow had in college.

In fact, the closest I can think of is LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, better known as the “Honey Badger.” And, now, Mathieu probably will be known more for getting booted of the team than his fearless attitude that earned him the moniker.

In an age where athletes consistently disappoint us the more we get to know them, Tebow has reversed the trend.

Sure, the over-saturation from the media can be too much at times, but we can hardly blame Tebow for receiving coverage. And, yet, no fleck of controversy has touched him.

Represented by CAA (for sports-related items) and William Morris Endeavor (for non-sports-related items), Tebow is an agents dream.

In fact, the only challenge to Tebow’s brand is to avoid the appearance that he seeks all this attention.

To this end, Tebow’s marketing strategy is an un-marketing strategy, which he carries out very well.

In the real world, you don’t see him on late night talk shows. In the virtual world, you don’t see him saying much on Twitter or Facebook (although he does have accounts and a website).

Even his foundation’s website and his personal website downplays his involvement – although perhaps too much in my opinion.

He strives to maintain that “every-man” image, and he does it well.

Yet, despite that, Tim Tebow was the most marketable college athlete of all time.

About Cody Swann

Cody Swann is an entrepreneur, developer, strategist, banged up ex-football walk-on, retired body builder and former journalist born and raised in South Florida. He currently splits his time between his hometown of Stuart, FL and Los Angeles, CA. Cody founded Gunner Technology, a highly sought after digital agency, specializing in helping companies maximize profits through custom web development, technology efficiencies, social media strategy and search engine marketing. As a manager and developer at ESPN for nearly six years, Cody led development and vision for two of ESPN’s most popular online features: Sports Scoreboards and GameCasts. Additionally Cody oversaw all aspects of MyESPN and ESPN’s social network, ESPN Fan Profiles. Cody worked with Technology, Editorial, Sales, Marketing and relevant business stakeholders to mold ESPN’s social media strategy, develop custom applications for it and execute it. Under his direction, ESPN successfully ported large portions of its core product from a proprietary Java stack to an open source Ruby on Rails stack, capable of standing up and performing under the tremendous load world's most popular sports site delivers. Cody began forging his technological knowledge more than 10 years ago, developing and designing websites in college. His development work has included web development, web design, content writing, digital photography and digital video production for award-winning sites like Gainesville.com, GatorSports.com and ESPN.com. He has helped set digital strategy and direction for companies in the New York Times Regional Newspaper group, ESPN, ABC and Disney. He is a recognized expert in web development, social media strategy, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, analytics tracking and business planning. He has worked with large interactive media companies to small and medium sized businesses. Cody motivates and inspires creative teams to deliver superb, polished work under tight deadlines.

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