FOUR BITS: track, Tebow, Lewis, Moss

1 » A total of 10 current and former Florida Gators qualified for the 14th IAAF World Outdoor Championships over the weekend by competing in events across the globe. Twenty-one Gators participated at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships from June 19-23 in Des Moines, IA, with six moving on to the next stage of competition. Senior Omar Craddock and reigning Olympic silver medalist Will Claye finished one-two in the men’s triple jump. (Olympic gold medalist and 2012 World Champion Christian Taylor will also compete in Moscow, Russia from Aug. 10-18.)

Olympic relay silver medalist Tony McQuay and freshman Arman Hall finished two-three in the men’s 400 meters, Kerron Clement qualified with a fifth-place finish in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, and junior Cory McGee came in third in the women’s 1,500 meters but must still meet the “B” standard qualifying time before heading off to Moscow. Additionally, Novlene Williams-Mills won the Jamaican title in the women’s 400 meters, junior Eddie Lovett will race the men’s 110-meter hurdles for the Virgin Islands, and senior Ugonna Ndu will compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles for Nigeria. Ndu can also qualify for the 100-meter hurdles by meeting the “B” standard qualifying time in that event prior to the start of the World Championships.

2 » New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow has been keeping a low profile with his new team, just as the front office and coaching staff asked, but he is hoping to make up some of the money he lost after New York waived him with a new investment. Tebow, already a co-owner of a D1 Sports Training facility in Tampa, FL, recently signed on with the fast-growing chain restaurant PDQ as the company’s latest investor. A Tebow-owned PDQ, the company’s eighth location, will open in Jacksonville, FL, later this summer. He also has options to purchase additional stores and may open another location in Jacksonville as well as one or two more in Alachua County. Tebow happened in to a PDQ for lunch one day while taking a break from his charity work in Tampa. He returned to the restaurant that evening for a second meal and immediately asked his management company, XV Enterprises, to learn more about the chain.

Check out two more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: track, Tebow, Lewis, Moss

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Tebow’s agency, Yeguete’s surgery

1 » Dateline Hollywood reported Thursday that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has signed with Hollywood agency WME (formerly William Morris) for his “endorsements, public appearances, speaking engagements, TV, film, books, the works –even helping with his foundation.” Tebow had previously been represented by XV Enterprises, the company started by brother Robby Tebow and good friend Angel Gonzalez, for such endeavors. Though it was well-known that Tebow was XV’s only client at the time of its creation, considering his brother is a part of the firm and it is somewhat named after his jersey number (XV = 15), the move is undoubtedly an interesting one. XV landed Tebow endorsement deals with Nike, Jockey and FRS Energy (among others) and was behind him during the release of his book Through My Eyes and movie Everything in Between (in partnership with Fiction). Dateline Hollywood‘s report has been been confirmed though neither Tebow nor WME has spoken publicly on the matter.

2 » The Florida Gators announced that sophomore forward Will Yegute has decided have surgery on Friday to repair his broken left foot. Yeguete, who suffered a Jones fracture in his fifth metatarsal against Auburn on Tuesday, will have a screw placed in the foot to promote a stronger and quicker healing process. “The last few days have been tough,” Yeguete said, according to the school. “Basically, I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to have the surgery … and I’m going to.” Former Florida point guard Taurean Green suffered the same injury while playing overseas in Europe. Unlike Yeguete, Green chose not to have surgery and told OGGOA on Wednesday that the injury healed on his own and he has not had any problems with it since.

Extra BIT » NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has had plenty of fun with Tebow this year, including creating a new character named “Tebowie” – a combination of Tebow and David Bowie, but decided to poke at another former Gators player this week. In a segment on Wednesday’s show called “Sports Freak-Out,” Fallon and announcer Steve Higgins crack wise on the looks of a number of NBA players including none other than Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (1:30).

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review – Tim Tebow: Everything in Between

It is not often we get the chance to do entertainment reviews, though we always appreciate the opportunity. So when I found out that ESPN had chosen to send me a rough cut of Tim Tebow: Everything in Between (debuting on the network on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.), I was psyched to view it before the general public and review it for you.

With a four-minute trailer for the then-unsold film released in September by Fiction and XV Enterprises, I knew going into my viewing that the movie began after the conclusion of the 2010 Sugar Bowl and lasted until Tebow had his name called with the No. 25 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft just over three months later.

What I did not anticipate, however, was how comprehensive, expertly produced and well-edited the film would be. Two things I look for in any production – documentaries especially – are their ability to capture my attention and then whether or not they can hold that attention for their duration. Chase Heavener gives the viewer a brief yet broad behind-the-scenes look at the process Tebow went through to make the transition from Florida Gators legend to legitimate NFL prospect.

The viewer has the opportunity to see Tebow do everything from participating in interviews with Sports Illustrated and ESPN to conducting one of his own with his future agent Jimmy Sexton in a board room at the University of Florida.

“All this looks really good and is really fancy and is really nice. And ya’ll speak really well. But a lot of people around the country either believe in me or don’t believe in me. Or they say I can do this and I can’t do this,” Tebow says while fidgeting with a packet of information after listening to Sexton’s best sales pitch. “If you want to draft me then draft me. If you want to recruit me or you think I can be a quarterback, then I will be. If not, then don’t talk to me because I want somebody that wants me. And I want an agent that wants me and believes that I am going to be a quarterback and believes that I am going to be good at what I do. And why do you think I will be?”

From there the documentary takes you to D1 Sports Training in Nashville, TN, where Tebow threw so many passes while working on adjusting his mechanics that the gloves he was wearing were literally torn apart. The viewer observes as he struggles mightily at the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl and is pummeled with criticism from analysts including ESPN’s Todd McShay, who is portrayed throughout the film as the antagonist for Tebow’s protagonist.

Both his physical and mental toughness are tested continuously throughout his journey. Tebow trucks on through an infection during the Senior Bowl even finding humor when a doctor feeding a tube down his nose asks if it has even been broken. “Who knows? Probably,” he quips. The level of exertion he puts in to each and every workout – he says – is not matched by any other college football player in the country.

Tebow shows the ability to block out detractors by ignoring McShay, who he hears doubting his ability to play at the next level on a blasting television in the background while he signs dozens of autographs and is surrounded by friends, family and business associates. He also defends his decision to participate in the controversial Focus on the Family Super Bowl commercial alongside his mother.

“Whoever you are, you can at least respect that I have an opinion on [abortion] and that I believe in something and that I’m going to stand up for what I believe,” he says. “That’s something that I’m taking pride in, that I’m standing up or what I believe in, and I’m showing conviction about something. For me, that’s big.”

With the hard work and dedication complete, Tebow’s largest looming decision – one that garnered much media attention – was where he would actually watch the draft that would decide his professional future. Contrary to popular belief that delaying his decision was a publicity stunt, Tebow’s indecision less than 48 hours before the draft is put at the forefront as Sexton pleads for him to make a choice.

Sexton himself proves to be a pivotal figure in Tebow’s tale, especially in the film’s final scenes. He tells the family exactly how he has projected the draft, is met with trepidation when things do not go as smooth as planned, and then is as excited as a school boy when his original prediction – “My bet is Denver from 22 to 30.” – comes to fruition.

Whether you are a fan of Tebow’s or someone who feels a strong sense of disdain for him, the Heisman Trophy winner and two-time National Champion ends up in the role of the underdog by the documentary’s end. Being exposed to Tebow’s character on a more personal basis puts the viewer in a position where one would have to be stone cold inside not to be genuinely happy for him when he receives a phone call from the 303 area code as the story nears its end.

As comprehensive as Heavener’s film is, its short run time of 50 minutes (due to television programming restrictions) does his work an injustice. With three months of film collected there is bound to be at least another 20 minutes of compelling material that unfortunately must have hit the cutting room floor. It is worth holding out hope that an extended edition will be available in some form at a later date.

Tim Tebow: Everything in Between is the first in a series of shows set to be a part of ESPN’s Year of the Quarterback programming initiative, a year-long examination into the lives and careers of quarterbacks from high school to the pros.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Cowart
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tebow spurns Gatorade for…FRS Health Energy?

Though he briefly did sponsorship work for the company prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow has decided not to sign an endorsement deal with Gatorade, the sports drink invented by University of Florida researchers in Gainesville, FL. Instead Tebow has agreed to a multi-year deal with the wellness drink company FRS Health Energy.

“I use their products regularly and can honestly say I believe FRS has helped me perform at my best on and off the field,” Tebow said in a statement. “I look forward to sharing my FRS story with fans and spreading the word on this amazing brand.”

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, FRS Health Energy first “got on the map three years ago by signing Lance Armstrong, who endorses the product and owns a piece of the company.” Rovell reports, according to XV Enterprises marketer Angel Gonzalez, that Tebow’s endorsement deal includes some equity in the company.

One of the reasons Tebow and his representatives picked FRS over Gatorade is because Tebow actually used the product while training for the combine. The company reportedly “became intrigued with Tebow when they heard he walked into a Gainesville GNC while training for the NFL combine to purchase the product,” Rovell reports.

Both Gatorade and Powerade were also vying for Tebow’s services.

Other endorsers for FRS Health Energy include Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As rookie season begins, brand Tebow expands

Fact is, Tim Tebow was already a brand coming out of high school – just ask anyone who followed his recruitment. Now, after achieving legendary status while playing four years for the University of Florida Gators and being selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, Tebow is finally able to capitalize on the fame and following he has built over the last handful of years.

On Wednesday, Tebow’s marketing push began by rolling out an official website (TimTebow.com), Twitter account (@TimTebow) and Facebook page (Tim Tebow) at the same time as his brother Robby Tebow and longtime friend Angel Gonzalez publicly debuted their website for XV Enterprises, an agency featuring Tebow as its first client.

While the website and social media accounts are aimed at fans, XV Enterprises’ goal is to become a major player in the sports marketing world by attracting only the best clients who have a particular “it” factor, as Gonzalez explained to CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

Currently featured on Tebow’s website is a four-minute trailer to an upcoming documentary about his path to the NFL, information about the player, pictures, videos and a list of his upcoming Broncos games and events.

The man who some have begun calling T2 has also debuted a new slogan that is sure to catch on with his supporters: GB2 = God Bless + Go Broncos.

Tags: , , , , , , ,