Move over, LinSanity. Now in the flash of a news cycle it is TimSanity that has the City That Never Sleeps buzzing around the clock.
No city is better equipped to handle multiple obsessions than New York. The question is, can Tim Tebow handle New York?
He has already ridden viral waves of TebowMania and Tebowing. He has been the constant center of attention, acclaim and controversy since he was being recruited to the University of Florida.
But the trade to the Jets is about to intensify all of that exponentially to a level rarely seen, according to sports marketing expert and branding strategist Ronn Torossian.
“There’s no question that this kid’s life is about to change overnight,” said Torossian, cautioning, “That’s for good and bad.
“I think he has a potential to be a much larger star than he is. He can own this city. … But I don’t think that pressure anywhere else is the same as pressure here.”
From a marketing perspective, Tebow coming to New York “is an absolute home run,” said Torossian, President of 5W Public Relations and author of “For Immediate Release,” a book about brand building.
The companies he endorses have to be turning cartwheels, including Jockey, Nike, EA Sports and recently added FRS Healthy Energy Drink. With the Broncos, his jersey was the No. 2 best-seller behind the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers at the end of the 2011 season and has occupied the top spot.
Tebow’s Jets jersey was already being offered for sale Thursday at NFLshops.com. It was featured on the main page alongside a new Broncos quarterback named Manning.
“What is the first picture of Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow together going to be worth? The potentials are unlimited in New York,” Torossian said.
Torossian said it is premature to attach a dollar figure to what Tebow could earn in endorsements playing in the Big Apple. His success on the field will ultimately determine that. It is unclear how the Jets intend to utilize him.
While it will be intriguing to see how his style fits and his role evolves with the Jets -- Joe Namath has already ripped the idea as a publicity stunt -- more compelling will be Tebow’s interaction with New York. Fans there have little patience with erratic quarterbacking and the city can be overwhelming.
Randy Johnson is a recent example of a big fish who never meshed with the Big Apple, and there have been others.
At first glance it seems an odd match. Earlier this week Monica Culpepper, a friend of Tebow’s, was quoted as saying he had confided that he missed the South and was hopeful of ending up with a Florida team.
Yet when given final say in whether to be traded to Jacksonville or New York, he chose the Jets.
“There’s no such thing as privacy in New York City. And that’s for an everyday Joe. For Tim Tebow, he’s not going to have a minute of rest. There’s no escape from being a celebrity in New York,” said Torossian, who has represented numerous celebrities and athletes.
“The brand Tim Tebow is certainly somebody that can shine. Whether the man Tim Tebow is able to handle the constant noise, the constant attention, the constant focus, I think that is something that only time will tell.”
Photo: Tim Tebow, speaking at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards show, has never ducked the spotlight. But he hasn't experienced anything like celebrity life in New York. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)