Being employed at ESPN is far from the easiest of situations right now, but for Tim Tebow, it’s going to pay off for at least several more years. The former college and NFL quarterback and current Major League Baseball hopeful just signed to a multiyear contract with ESPN to continue to appear on the SEC Network.
In a press release on the ESPN MediaZone, the sports media giant announced that they had reached an agreement to secure Tebow’s role as a player analyst for the SEC Network’s pre-game show, SEC Nation. Under the contract, Tim Tebow will provide his time and knowledge for ESPN’s BCS College Football Playoff coverage and programming. Reportedly, the contract also promises that Tim Tebow’s responsibilities to ESPN will not interfere with his contract with the New York Mets baseball, where he is currently playing for the Columbia Fireflies in the minor league system.
Though Tebow is pushing for his place in the MLB, he certainly hasn’t forgotten his roots in the SEC as a star quarterback on the Florida Gators, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, and was a finalist for the award several times after among a list of other achievements.
“I love the passion that SEC fans bring to our set every Saturday morning,” Tebow stated alongside the contract announcement. “I look forward to continuing to share my own love of the game with fans on ESPN and SEC Network.”
This contract announcement comes just following a huge firing of employees within the ESPN workforce near the end of April in 2017. Allegedly over 100 employees both at the face of ESPN programming and behind the scenes were affected by a huge layoff within the company. Expert analysts have predicted that even more employees could be on the chopping block in the near future as ESPN is working to trim its numbers, removing talent from every corner of sports journalism. Big names like Raul Ibanez, Dallas Braden, Jaymee Sire, and more were unable to avoid pink slips in the company career cull.
So what sets Tim Tebow apart from some of the debatably strong and popular talents that have found themselves let go in recent weeks? Undoubtedly, there is some pedigree there with his familiarity with the SEC teams and their fanbase, but what kept Tebow from taking a hike over the careers of other veteran football voices like former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer? According to ESPN themselves, much of it has to do with his delivery and history.
“[Tim]’s unique experiences within the SEC and his broad national fan base are huge assets to SEC Nation and ESPN’s larger CFP coverage,” explained ESPN senior vice president Stephanie Druley, claiming that Tebow has a passion and presence in his opinions that surprises viewers.
Tebow’s constant presence in the SEC scene is more than likely a boon to his position in SEC Nation. Moreover, his national presence throughout his time in college and his traveling career through the NFL has drawn its share of attention, for better or for worse. Either way, it’s certainly something that has caught the eyes of many at multiple points of his career and ESPN seems set on not letting that talent get away.
Also somewhat surprising that in a time when many ESPN employees are probably second-guessing their job security, Tebow is able to make demands that allow him to keep his contract with the Mets. It’s not ridiculous on his part to stand up for his current ventures and defend his right to continue to pursue a career in the MLB. However, it does speak to how far ESPN is willing to go to keep Tim Tebow on contract compared to other less fortunate employees, both current and ex.
[Featured Image by Robin Marchant/Getty Images]