I am a fan of both football and Tim Tebow; however, I’m not a Tim Tebow fan because he plays football, or vice versa. I’m a Tebow fan because he’s genuine not only on the big screen of his life, but also in the snapshots. An example of his genuineness is his venture into endorsing Jockey underwear.
One of the perks many professional athletes enjoy is endorsing products. Manufacturers know that if consumers can put a “face” on a product they are more likely to purchase it, so they pay big money to stars for endorsing a product. This is just business, but how should a star athlete react when a small minority of his fans object to a product he’s endorsing? Does he respond to this small minority and risk alienating the company paying him to advertise, or does he ignore the vocal minority of his fans and possibly alienate them?
Unfortunately, in most cases, when fans object to a star athlete endorsing a certain product the star ignores them and endorses the product. I guess he feels it’s his business and he’ll endorse any product he pleases. In addition, if the objections are from a small minority he doesn’t worry about alienating them. The negative, though, is it shows the star’s contempt for fans who might disagree with him.
Tebow, however, is different. When a small minority of his fans objected to his endorsing Jockey underwear, he chose to respond to them because they were his fans.
“People say it’s underwear,” he said. “But everyone wears underwear, it’s not like I’m doing something risqué. I wouldn’t do anything that goes against what I stand for. The whole campaign is very classy. I really take pride in what I endorse and what I attach my name to.” He went on to say, “I’m fortunate to receive numerous endorsement opportunities, and I take less than 1 percent of what’s offered, which is ultimately only the ones I believe in.”
Even though he didn’t change his position, he made the effort to show those who disagreed he respected their viewpoint. In other words, by responding in a polite, respectful, manner Tebow showed this small minority he valued their opinion. He showed them they were more than just people who might purchase one of his replica football jerseys.
He also left me with a deeper respect for him, and his values.