Why Tim Tebow is relevant. And why he’s not.

Thomas Marks brings years of marketing experience to his blog "It's All About Content" as the President and Managing Partner of TMA+Peritus. Prior to starting the agency in 1983, Tom was the VP of Marketing and Advertising for Bally Corporation in Chicago. He was also President of Bally's multimillion-dollar in-house ad agency FFC Advertising.

Leaning on my experience as a standout football player in sixth grade, I can tell you that Tim Tebow’s throwing motion falls somewhere between my sister tossing a water balloon at me and the great submarine pitcher Dan Quisenberry. Or in clinical terms, it sucks. But in this world of suicide bombers, does it really matter if Tim can throw the bomb or the Hail Mary? I wonder if he actually says a Hail Mary before he tosses the Hail Mary – my guess is he does.

Tim is relevant because he has a lot of boogity boogity. Call it what you want – Google Love, impressions, traction, mentions. If you’re going to judge relevancy by online quotients, water cooler conversation, TV ratings, and adult acts of celibacy – which might get permanent since he’s getting more hits than Amazon’s website during peak periods – the guy is in the moment. And in this day and age, being in the moment is no longer equivalent to Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, which was pretty much a lift from Marshall McLuhan anyway, because we have the ability to make 15 minutes, 15 weeks, or months or even years, more readily than ever before. One Tim Tebow comment spurs thousands of others. We can’t exactly say the same thing about Yelberton Abraham Tittle who took a few hits in the kisser, too. And as long as we’re talking tackle football, all you pile-oners, Tim Tebow is totally and deservedly relevant.

Leaning on my experience as a content marketer for the last 35 years, I can tell you that if we continue to define relevance by the boogity boogity, we’re heading toward the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which needed its own Hail Mary to stay aloft. Or in clinical terms, that would really suck. Look, if we’re going to toss around some bombs, let them be earth-shattering, not just pigskin-shattering.

Tim isn’t relevant because he doesn’t have a lot of genuine boogity boogity, yet. If you’re going to put yourself out there, appear in TV commercials, get in people’s grills about religion and values – all of which is fine by me – you’re doing it from the two platforms that restrain relevancy, and those my friends are premeditation and perspective. Perhaps Tim isn’t really relevant when held to these high authorities. We’re not exactly talking about Milton Lee Olive III actions here. Milt was the first African American Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. He saved a few buddies, four to be exact, by throwing himself on a grenade. If you want to talk about piling on, smothering rather than throwing bombs, about a true Hail Mary, something not planned and overly promoted – let’s keep it in perspective.

From a business perspective, if you want to be relevant, there’s a good chance it has nothing to do with you. Make it about someone else, and in the end, they’ll make it about you. Every chance I get, regrettably it’s not very often, I ride my bike on the Chicago Lakefront south to Olive Park. Thanks, Milt, for keeping my head straight.

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