What Can Your Business Learn From “Tebow-Mania”?

The NFL season is here, and millions of fans across the country can’t wait to cheer for their hometown team. In 31 of the 32 NFL cities, all eyes are on the starting quarterback—the man who fans hope can lead their team to a Super Bowl championship. But for one team, the situation is a little bit different. Why?

Because Tim Tebow plays for the New York Jets. And although he is the backup quarterback, he is easily the most popular player on the team. You’ve probably heard of Tebow-mania… but have you ever wondered what caused it? We’ll take a look—but even more importantly, we’ll identify lessons that you can apply to your own personal branding efforts.

1) Personality sells. Tim Tebow is not the best quarterback in the league. In fact, many football experts would argue that he is not even among the top fifty quarterbacks in the league. And yet, he is the second most popular player in the entire league, as measured by jersey sales. What gives? Football fans are putting significantly more stock in his personality and his values than they are in his skills. As a business, obviously the products and services you sell are important—but Tebow-mania reminds us that personality and value go a long way towards determining the success of a brand

2) It’s all about the story you tell. Tim Tebow is more than just a football player—his life and career tell a story. From his very public faith to his emphasis on community service, Tebow tells a story that goes beyond simply throwing a football. What can you do to add life and substance to your brand, so that you tell a story that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of your products and services?

3) Controversy can be a good thing. Tebow has raised eyebrows many times—for his outspoken faith, his public and personal commitment to abstinence, and for his embrace of pro-life political causes. While these stances may alienate some potential fans, his message has clearly resonated with millions of football fans. It goes without saying that you must approach controversial subjects with great care as a business owner—but Tebow proves that, done right, a bit of controversy can super-charge a brand.

If you pay attention to the NFL this season, you’re bound to hear Tebow’s name frequently. Pay attention and look for opportunities to enhance your personal brand with the strategies that Tebow uses so effectively.