One of the first times we saw Tim on campus was in 2006 and someone asked him to sign a t-shirt for them when he was coming out of class. And Tebow looked surprised when they asked and, of course, happily obliged. Last year at Spring practice all the ebayers were standing in line waiting to get him to sign stuff. It went from a fellow student to a greedy mob.
In August of last year we posted a story "How much is Tebow worth?" commenting in part on an Alligator story detailing how much everyone was making off Tim Tebow, except Tim Tebow. And just for review here's a glimpse of what people were making off Tebow heading into the 2009 season:
The UF Bookstore, located on campus, sold around 2,000 of Tebow’s No. 15 jerseys last year. That’s a rate of 166 per month, ranging in price from $75 to $150.
A search on ebay.com for “Tim Tebow” nets 393 results, ranging from 99-cent football cards to an autographed jersey up for $515.15.
At The Perfect Gift, a shop located in Haile Village, a painting titled “Lord of The Swamp” that featured Tebow running through the Oklahoma defense with Bible verses placed all over him was on the market for $6,500. At the Haile Village Art Fair outside the store last spring, more paintings, sketches and even jewelry bearing Tebow’s likeness or jersey number were for sale.
His image has sold magazines, newspapers, highlight videos and T-shirts. His play on the field has sold tickets and earned UF millions for playing in high-profile bowl games.
And as Howard points out, a 10-year-old Tebow family Christmas card went for $50 online last fall.
Yes, we'd still like to have Tim playing for the Gators and watch him selectively sign stuff for kids while ferreting out the pros while walking to and from practice, but it's time for Tim to be his own man. And if that means having public signing sessions to support himself, his foundation, and his family, then good for him. It's about time that Tim Tebow will also profit from his hard work, and not everyone else but him.
And for the critics, a significant portion of the proceeds will go to the
Tim Tebow Foundation.
Click on the photos below for the two separate autograph sessions.