Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Criticism of Tebow For Autograph Signing Is Ridiculous

I’ve heard a bunch of media types criticizing Tim Tebow for a huge autograph signingthis weekend in which he charged $160 for an autograph and $75 for a photo.

If I’m doing my math right, based on the tickets sold, Tebow grossed about $120,000 for the signing.

Tim Tebow Autographed Florida Gators Mini Helmet w/ "07 Heisman"
Source:Palm Beach Photographs

I know Mr. Tebow got his education for free at the University of Florida, but that line doesn’t work with Tebow, who most likely made more money for the University than any college athlete has ever made for a university.

In fact, if Tebow were given a small royalty for the jerseys he helped sell (which he, of course should have), Tebow would probably have already earned his $120,000.

But back to the signing.

The bottom line is that there is a market value for his signature. The folks that sold Colt McCoy’s John Hancock thought it was worth $100 each and Sam Bradford scored $130 per. For Tebow it happened to be $160. Sticker shock? Maybe. But that’s what it was.

And the thing is, from a business standpoint, it might not have been expensive enough.

Palm Beach Autographssold out of its 500 autograph tickets and 500 pictures and Tebow, who was scheduled to be at the mall where it took place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., actually left the place two hours late to finish everything out.

Steve Dodson, who with his brother owns the memorabilia company, says that they’ve already sold about 25 percent of the tickets they’ve made available for a signing later this month.

And here’s the point that has been left out of those criticizing the price. Dodson said Tebow is donating a significant portion of the proceeds to his foundation and Dodson said his company is also donating a portion of the profits from the autographs to Tebow’s foundation.

I don't know what that all adds up to but knowing a little about Tebow, I'd suspect it's a larger percentage than most athletes have donated to their charities.

Questions?  Comments?