Friday, February 19, 2010

Tim Tebow's Autograph: $160

I appreciate that now that Tim Tebow is a professional, he can enjoy the paid perks -- like tapping into the big-money memorabilia market.

But it seems to fly in the face of the populist brand that he has built up that he would align with a company that is charging $160 for the chance to get Tebow to sign something for you.

That just seems... excessive. $20? Totally. $50? Maybe -- especially if I'm cynical enough to think that the majority of folks in line are going to be memorabilia sales agents or eBay sellers, who will turn around and try to hawk the autographed stuff -- at a huge mark-up.

But if I'm just a working guy with two young kids and I'd really like Tebow to sign a Sports Illustrated cover or a photo for them so that they can connect with their favorite player, that just seems unfair.

Obviously, Tebow and his team can charge whatever they want, and I'm sure they tried to gauge what the market would pay for. But that approach seems cynical -- as cynical as the folks in line probably will be. I wonder if Tebow will notice, when it's less die-hard fans in line than die-hard sellers.

(h/t: Fowler)


  1. well, I won't pay the $160. but since I'm from Jacksonville, you'll bet I'll be at the Avenues during that time to catch a glimpse of him haha!

  2. I agree. I understand he has trainer bills & other expenses to pay, but that's way too high. Especially considering he hasn't even played in the NFL yet. Even if this were a charity event, I'd still say it's too much.

  3. $160 for his name written on a piece of paper? I don't think so. Sorry Timmy but I wouldn't pay that.
    I'd much rather send $160 to the Tim Tebow Foundation.

    I'd like to know how someone comes up with that figure?

  4. I only skimmed the page that Dan linked to earlier. I just finally scrolled down a little, read the following, and became ill:

    Tim would be happy to Personalize your item for you "To (Name)", write "God Bless", or inscribe a short Bible Verse of your choice included in the signing fee. Any other inscriptions relating to his on-field accomplishments will require a $25 charge including: "07 Heisman" , "06/08 Champs" , "Go Gators" , "08 BCS MVP".

    Most items are considered "regular items" and will be signed for the standard fee. These items include 8x10 and 16x20 photographs, Sports Illustrateds, Footballs, Mini Helmets, Hats etc. The following items are considered "premium items" and require an additional $25 charge: Full Size Helmets, Jerseys and Large Artwork."

    An extra $25 fee just to write those football-related phrases, incl 'Go Gators'?! And will he charge another $25 to do the Gator Chomp, too? I suppose it could be worse-at least he's not cheapening his faith by charging an extra fee to write 'God Bless' or a Bible verse. But he's charging another extra $25 fee for signing 'Premium' items? So, if someone simply wants Tim to write 'Go Gators' on a jersey, they'll have to pay $210. Oh, and getting a pic w/Tim will cost an additional $75 or only $50 if you already have an autograph ticket. That's absurd. As I said before: he hasn't even played in the NFL yet!

    And how much do you want to bet some clowns will choose some 'inappropriate' Bible verses & then sell it online & still make a profit by making a joke out of Tim &/or his faith? Worst case scenario: someone asks Tim to sign a Bible verse on a copy of Playboy or a porn DVD (would those be considered 'regular items' or 'premium items'?). That would undoubtedly re-sell for a ton. In fact, someone would just have to fake Tim's autograph & Bible verse on one of those & it would still sell well.

    This entire thing is ridiculous, imho. (Sorry if this post has offended anyone, but this really annoys me.)

  5. My brother explained to me, which Dan actually mentioned, that the reason they are charging so much is because people will get stuff signed just to go sell it on ebay for double so they want to make sure that they aren't losing money, not excusing it at all, just explaining. I will bet you the resellers will be the ones getting the autographs and the fans will be the ones getting the picture. If you go to you also see he is doing the same event in Palm Beach Mar. 27th, and since that's where I live, I paid to get the picture taken with him- don't shoot me! :)

  6. WAIT!!! didnt I mention this on previous blog?! I said Tebow will soon say to some kid he runs into the street that " sorry I cant sign without getting paid! " Maybe his entourage will carry a Credit card swiping maching with them! this is bound to happen. I mean the Gatorade appearance was not free! he was paid. I do understand a boy's gotta pay for his bills but he is also trotting around in a private jet everywhere he goes thanks to that kid thats been filming him! Yeah like I said... The Tim Tebow I loved watching in college that aura and that " I just want to pinch your cheeks cuz your so adorable " feeling is kinda going away slowly! Urgh! I hate that! Why do they have to be professional athletes? It makes them so different! well atleast in the public eye. ( Sorry I'm just venting and ranting dont hate me all )

  7. (I apologize in advance, b/c this is going to offend many. But the more I think about this, the more annoyed I get.)

    If Tim were already in the NFL & these signing/pic events, w/their inflated prices, were being promoted to serious autograph collectors in a purely secular way, I'd be amazed at the prices, but I wouldn't care about them very much. It was when I read the Bible verse/God Bless thing on that ad page that my jaw first hit the floor & I got angry. That was just so crass & exploitative of the segment of his fans who are crazy about him b/c of his faith & supposedly high ethical standards that I was appalled that Tim would even be a part of this. Many of his Christian fans adore him partly b/c they feel like he's 'one of them'. Yet, the entire way that ad page was worded made it seem like Tim regards people who are his spiritual brothers & sisters-& his equals-as his fawning inferiors from whom he can make a ton of money.

    And then there's the presumption of his success in the NFL. The prices for these events are probably similar to, or even lower than, the going rate for NFL players. But-as I've already mentioned twice-Tim isn't one yet. If he's doing this now, before he has even been drafted, what is he going to be like if he ever becomes a starting NFL QB? Is he going to start expecting 'the little people' (aka: his fans) to pay for him to merely smile at them? And how much are these expensive autographs & pics going to be worth if his critics are right & he doesn't become successful in the NFL? Or does he even care?

    Unfortunately, marria, you were definitely right about what Tim was going to become. I can understand his doing this if a good chunk of this money is going to charity. Getting so much money to help people in need for simply signing stuff & having one's pic taken must be very tempting. But if this is mostly going to charity, why not just do a charity autograph signing/pic taking? That would actually attract more people, b/c they'd get at least a partial tax deduction & it would take away the sting of paying so much for an autograph or pic, b/c they'd know it was going to a good cause. I also fully support Tim signing as many spokesperson deals as he can & have no problem w/his deal w/Gatorade. It's what I perceive as Tim's conceit & condescension to his fans that I can't stand.

    This is the same Tim who only 3 months ago said that he wanted his fans to remember him as someone who cared. Cared about his teammates, about UF, & about his fans. Yet, now he acts like he just wants to soak us. Tim has always talked about being a good role model &, so far, he's been one, imo. Well, here he has a great opportunity to be a good role model to all pro athletes by not treating his fans as things by which he can make more quick cash.

    I know what you mean, marria, about your feelings about Tim going away slowly. If this is representative of how he's going to be from now on, my fondness for Tim will be going away very soon.

    @Christy: "I paid to get the picture taken with him- don't shoot me!" LOL. I won't-it's perfectly understandable. And thank you, again, for posting that Combine schedule.

    @marria: "Sorry I'm just venting and ranting dont hate me all". :D No hate from me-I've now gone on 2 rants myself.

    OK, everyone, flame away...

  8. Brooke- you won't receive any hate from me. I totally get you. Just to maybe put this in a little bit of perspective, my brother runs his own website where he interviews sports stars and various celebrities. He's done it for 9 years now since he was 15 years old. He started out interviewing WWE stars and then worked his way into other sports and now movies too. He knows the wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts very well (I've met him myself) and my brother was telling me about how Jake would get paid a fee of let's say $5000 to show up and sign autographs, but then the company would make $10000 profit which was not fair. So I am hoping that since the company wants to make a profit, they are charging a huge amount because they are paying Tim a HUGE fee to show up and hopefully Tim will take some of his fee and put it towards good causes.

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  10. I've been criticizing Tim for this, but now I think I've been too harsh. I just can't believe he's changed this much this quickly. Here's what I've come up w/to give him the benefit of the doubt:

    1) After looking at not only that ad page again, but also the home page of that site, I now realize that this event seems to primarily be for generic sports memorabilia investors & people who sell this kind of stuff on ebay for a profit. It doesn't seem like it's primarily aimed at fans. The fact that it's being done by a sports memorabilia store suggests this, too.

    2) I don't think that God Bless/Bible verse part of the ad page was necessarily aimed at Christians. Notice the wording on that ad page doesn't say 'your favorite Bible verse'. It says 'a Bible verse of your choice'. That seems like it's geared towards someone who wants to buy this, then sell it on ebay later.

    3) Although the prices still seem ridiculously high to me, judging by the $700 price (!) for the Gators helmet w/Tim's autograph on it that's listed on that site's homepage, these prices might not be as outrageous as I once thought.

    4) Yes, Tim's not in the NFL yet. But in the past year, Tim's learned both w/his own concussion & w/learning about the tragic death of Taylor Haugen that not only can his football career be over on any play, but so can his life. And he's also learned from the endless criticism of his skills that he might not succeed in the NFL. So if he's going to make money to help people, he'd better get it ASAP.

    5) I do still think these should have been charity signing/pic-taking events. I think a signing/pic-taking fundraising event would have been a great way to raise money, & generate publicity for, his foundation. But, as was the case w/doing the ad w/FoF, you sometimes just take what you're offered.

    6) My low opinion of this was probably framed by my own feelings of signings/pic-taking events as being rather greedy/sleazy affairs.

    Some perspective on this is necessary, too: It's not like he tested positive for steroids or other drugs, or was found to have made a sex tape or something.

  11. Bible verses and god bless on a a material thing should not cost a kid $160 anyone can tell and write those things for free and with heart and sincerety behind it! I knew what TT was going to be getting into way before because I work with NLF people. Eventually the innocence of College football dissapates when they get into the NFL. In college it is all about the Team and coaches and family. But in the NFL its all about " me" I guess TT is making the most of his popularity thanks to his agents and PR reps who probably have no clue what TT is all about. I mean even looking back at his college football pics he looked different. now he's lost weight and heck he even looks tired! Tim is officially untouchable! Brooke you are right its not like he had a sex tape or addiction of some sorts. I just feel like he was my cute neighbor and we grew up together we were best friends then 10 years later he grew up and left for the big city!! (once again I am Ranting!) BUT! can you blame Tebow for being guarded though... The critics are hard on Tim. They are rought on that throwing motion and footwork! If he let himself be Tim and be as honset as he is in the media now?! He would be so chewd out spitted out and recycled by ESPN, NFL network and all blogs!! He is not perfect in the media's eyes now likeit was when he was in college. It's rough and I wouldnt want those criticism I would cry like a baby. Senior Bowl was rough. Everyday they ripped him. Todd McShay and MEl Kiper Ripped him until this day and when he gets drafted. It's rough to be Tim right now. A wall as big as the China wall has been built around Tim. I'm just sorry I never had a Sharpie everytime I was in Gainesville!! lol I just think when the Gators football season starts maybe Tim's spotlight might just start fading? I mean Their Brian Herzolug from Boston College thats quite endearing. He fought Cancer and he's quite the looker! Tim may or may not be a starter in the NFL if he becomes a Brett Farve or Drew Brees then great! but all I know is that I will always love the Tim Tebow I saw and loved in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for Three years and the Tim that ran around the Swamp slapping everyone's hand, took pictures with everyone and last but not the least...gave FREE autographs.

  12. I'm writing on behalf of Palm Beach Autographs to join the discussion. I've read all your concerns and frustrations through this comment thread and want to address them for everyone.

    Our entire team is made up of UF graduates, and we care deeply about the Gator Nation. We work extremely hard to bring public signings to the fans because we know how much fun it is to connect with the players we cheer for all season long.

    Over the past years, we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to have almost every graduating member of both National Championship Football & Basketball teams make public appearances. Of all the aspects of our business, this is by far the most fun for us. It takes quite a significant amount of resources to pull these together, but we think it's worth it. We are fans just like you. We grew up going to autograph signings, Gator games, and trying to meet the players off the field if we were lucky.

    As you can imagine, not all players have the same going rate to appear for these events. It turns out we weren't the only memorabilia guys who had Tim in mind. A bidding war ensued with all the national corporations, and we were lucky enough that Tim chose us partly because we are all Gators. After hosting so many first-ever autograph appearances with great Gator players, you can only imagine how exciting it is having Tim Tebow join that list.

    This will not only be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but will also help raise funds for a worthy cause. Both Tim Tebow and Palm Beach Autographs are donating a significant portion of the proceeds from this event to the Tim Tebow Foundation. More information about the foundation can be found at

    We understand that this economy is an especially tough time. We wish we were able to fully accommodate every fan. The cost of Tim Tebow to appear is MUCH higher than any player we've ever had, and that is evident in the ticket price. The end price of autograph tickets is strictly a function of our cost to bring the athlete. We pay him per autograph, as well as each additional "upgrade" (inscriptions, photos, etc.) Please know that we have not added these to 'get rich' or nickel & dime fans.

    One of the options that customers have is to purchase a photo ticket for $75. We wanted to give fans who aren’t necessarily interested in autographs a less expensive, exciting opportunity to meet Tim. We have hired a professional photographer to shoot a posed photo with your family and Tim and his Heisman Trophy.

    Brooke - we understand your frustration in the pre-NFL high prices fully. Please know that his rate is a result of market demand, not his NFL field statistics. It's because we all love him so much as fans that his marketability has driven through the roof...along with the cost of his time. Also, this event is NOT at all for eBayers or resellers. It's strictly intended for fans.

    Marria - He's still the incredible person he's always been, so don't give up on him!! All players go through endorsement deals, sponsorships, memorabilia contracts, etc. This is why we love college football more :)

    Colleen - Try not to be disappointed in Tim. He's a great guy who is really excited about coming to these events and will light up to meet each one of you.

    If you've ever been to any of our events, you know how much fun they are and can only imagine how exciting Tim's will be. We hope this gives more clarity about why the prices are at this level, and also shows you that we care about your opinions. Our customers and fans are what keep us going, and we hope that you will join us as we welcome the greatest collegiate athlete of all time back to Jacksonville.

    We're always available to answer any of your questions or concerns. Just give us a call or email us. Visit our site for contact info -

    Go Gators!!!

  13. PBGraphs thanks for clearing things up. I DO still think TT is a great player and guy. And GO GATORS!!

  14. Yes, PBGraphs..class act coming here and posting. Kudos to you. I adore Tim, and so does my son. I just see money as the root of a lot of evil in the world, and it does change people. However, Tim is different, and deep down I know that. Still, I cherish my Timmy autograph that I have already! ;0)

  15. Are you people retarted?! Do you not realize that he is donating 90% of that money?? Tebow would never keep that much for himself, he doesnt need the money and even if he did he would never charge someone for his autograph to pay his bills! Y'all need to pay attention to what he is doing before you just start accusing him of something like that, I can't believe so many people are that fickle!!

  16. Hey guys, I want to follow up with a video by a reporter from the signing yesterday. I hope you'll consider becoming fans of ours once you see how much fun comes out of these events.

  17. Thanks PBGraphs! and Ryan RELAX! yeah I went to an assumption without knowing the full details so sue me! PBGraph was nice enough to clear that clouded air! so before you call anyone "Fickle" maybe you should have been nice and polite enough to enlighted out " fickle " minds and not call us " fickle" thank you!

  18. Hey Ryan, take a chill pill....there was no clarification in the original article about where the proceeds were going to. We all figured the way of the world was that the agent and the company would get most of it, anyway, and not even Tim. I am glad to see that is not the case, and hope that is the case in the future. PBGraphs, thanks again for filling us all in..and loved the video.