Tim Tebow signs autographs for fans following Instructional League workouts on Sept. 21, 2016 at the backfields of Tradition Field.
LUIS TORRES/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS
So there’s this guy coming to town.
You might have heard of him. Good-looking character, the ladies really seem to like him. He plays a little baseball, though not phenomenally well.
What does he do phenomenally well? Generate revenue.
Tim Tebow — onetime standout University of Florida quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner, formerly of the Denver Broncos and New York Jets and New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles — is back in town.
Tebow, who now makes a living as a minor league baseball player, was promoted from Low Class A Columbia (South Carolina) to the St. Lucie Mets. The Tebow Show begins in earnest Tuesday, as the Mets take on the Palm Beach Cardinals at 6:30 p.m. Prior to that, Tebow will address the media in the home dugout around 3 p.m.
Tebow’s re-arrival in town (he spent a portion of spring training here) has set social media alight. Executives with the St. Lucie Mets are likely dancing in their office aisles.
Tebow is a huge draw, perhaps the biggest in minor league sports. Crowds at the Mets’ First Data Field in St. Lucie West have been moribund, averaging 1,722 per game this year through Sunday (the stadium seats 7,160).
That’s about to change.
In May, the magazine and online publication Baseball America tracked Tebow’s economic impact on the Columbia Fireflies, and found it to be huge. The “Tebow Effect” was easy to see in terms of home attendance: through early May the fireflies were averaging 5,103 fans per game, the second-highest in Class A and up 1,400 from the same stretch last year.
On the road, Baseball America reported, the Fireflies played in front of an average of 4,607 fans; when those same ballparks hosted teams without Tebow, they averaged 2,399 fans per game.
“If Tebow remains in the (South Atlantic League) all season, that would mean an additional $3.1 million in revenue over the course of 70 Columbia road games,” reported Baseball America. “That doesn’t even count the revenue he generates for Columbia.”
Columbia’s loss is now our gain.
Expect tickets to the Mets’ games to be harder to come by. Expect a media scramble dwarfing anything the Mets might have seen without Tebow. Expect social media to go ballistic. Expect, possibly, some trouble — during spring training an apparently delusional Colorado woman was arrested for trespassing at First Data Field after claiming she was in a relationship with Tebow.
Tebow’s arrival will be a boon for the Mets, who won’t merely sell more tickets but also more concessions and perhaps even more merchandise. And it will also be a boon for St. Lucie County taxpayers, as Tebow fans will remit sales tax with every purchase.
None of this is to suggest that Tebow will be as phenomenal on the field as he may be off of it. Indeed, his numbers at Columbia were hardly overwhelming — in 63 games he batted .222 with 14 doubles, three home runs and 22 RBI.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson admitted to Kristie Ackert at New York Daily News that those stats usually aren’t enough to promote a player: “We recognize this is not a usual circumstance, but we just felt, everything involved, it was about the right time for him to move to high-A ball,” Alderson said.
The Mets, Ackert noted drily, “have insisted that signing Tebow had nothing to do with marketing.”
Sure, sure. But the Mets obviously realize having Tebow on the team, and on the field, boosts the bottom line.
Problem is, if the Mets are determined to keep promoting Tebow on the basis of either his play or his ability to sell tickets — he won’t be here long.
So enjoy the Tebow Mania while it lasts.
Read or Share this story: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/06/26/trending-runs-hits-and-revenue-tim-tebow-good-mets-bottom-line/428026001/
Let’s block ads! (Why?)
Share and Enjoy