Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Tim Tebow and the World of Endorsements

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 22, 2010

Tim Tebow is probably the highest profile athlete to be up for grabs in the 2010 National Football League draft which starts tonight. The star quarterback out of the University of Florida is not the most ready to play in the NFL, but he has enormous talent as both a quarterback and a running back, and he is certainly among the best-known and most highly-regarded prospects in terms of leadership and character.

You’ll remember that Tebow also teamed up with his mom and Focus on the Family to air a pro-life advertisement during last January’s Super Bowl. The ad focused on Pam Tebow’s refusal to abort Tim when she was a missionary in the Philippines and contracted dysentery during her pregnancy.

Now, in a recent speech but without naming any names, Tebow stated that he was told by some companies before the ad appeared that they could not do endorsement deals with him if he went ahead with the pro-life ad. For the moment, at least, Tebow is so popular that he has plenty of other endorsement deals, and he is unlikely to suffer financially. But this still shines a light on the adverse impact some corporate cultures can have, and the way money is used to pressure people into keeping quiet about their convictions.

While many star athletes let fame and wealth go to their heads, living scandalous lives that make them terrible role models, many others give significant witness to faith, life and family. Sports is one of the last areas hyped by the mainstream media where you frequently see the heroes give thanks to God in interviews, spend time in prayer, or make the Sign of the Cross on the playing field.

Tim Tebow isn’t likely to make the Sign of the Cross as he is not a Catholic, but he seems to take his Christian faith seriously and he has already tried to use his career to promote the Gospel of Life. It is very likely that we spend too much money on those with athletic prowess, but I hope Tim Tebow goes high in the draft, develops rapidly into a great NFL player, and stays committed to life.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: a son of Mary - May. 01, 2010 10:40 AM ET USA

    I would love to know which companies told Tim Tebow that they wouldn't endorse him. I'd personally stop buying whatever it was. I bet a buck that Miller Brewing was one of them. I won't touch the stuff anymore after various so-called sponsorships.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 23, 2010 11:05 AM ET USA