Media personality/former Broncos quarterback/future politician Tim Tebow’s professional baseball career officially began when he reported to the Mets’ instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Monday.
Coincidentally, there was also a rack of Tim Tebow Mets jerseys at the workout and more that appeared online at MLB.com. The white pinstripe jerseys — with 15 plastered across the back, the same number Tebow wore in Denver, conveniently in orange and blue! — are available for a small fee of $119.99.
If it seems weird that the MLB is selling gear bearing the name of a low-level minor-league player, that’s because it is. Teams normally aren’t allowed to use a player’s name or image on merchandise until he makes the 40-man roster.
Tebow is an exception, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports, because he cut a deal with the league’s jersey supplier last week that allows Major Athletic to sell his stuff while he’s still toiling away in the minors.
“While I and (the) organization are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the New York Daily News when Tebow signed. “It is not driven by marketing considerations or anything sort.”
Any revenue made off merchandise sold online at MLB.com is split equally among all 30 MLB teams, Rovell points out.
The Mets can really start cashing in if they start selling Tebow stuff at Citi Field. MLB teams keep all of the revenue off stuff sold at their own ballparks. So far, Rovell says, no Tebow gear is available at Citi Field.