DENVER, CO - Tim Tebow is taking on a new role: advertising sex symbol.
A shirtless Tebow poses for the Jockey "Sport" underwear collection on the company's website. The image shows a buff Tebow, photographed partly in shadow, next to a headline reading: "Playoffs. It's Tebow Time."
Photos: Tim Tebow
The image went live on Jockey's website Monday, one day after the deeply religious quarterback who launched the "Tebowing" craze led his Denver Broncos to a playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Tebow-mania reaching a fever pitch across the country, the image of a shirtless Tebow is the first thing consumers see if they go to the Jockey.com website.
The charismatic quarterback appeals to men and women, says Dustin Cohn, chief marketing officer of Jockey. The so-called "Tebow Effect" is driving up sales of Jockey's men's and women's underwear products. He has been a "lightning rod" for the brand.
"Its very exciting for us. He is the hottest athlete in the country today. He's trending among elite celebrity status," Cohn said.
There's "no question" Tebow is attracting female consumers to the more male-oriented Jockey brand, Cohn adds. A few months ago, Jockey aired a TV commercial in which Tebow is seen shirtless. It was only a brief moment, but that's what everyone ended up talking about, Cohn recalled.
"It's funny, you see Tim without his shirt for maybe one second. We got a lot of complimentary e-mails for that one second," Cohn said.
Privately-held Jockey doesn't release sales figures. But Tebow has turned Jockey's "staycool" underwear into the fastest-selling collection in the company's 135-year history.
He's grabbing the younger, more online-savvy consumers Jockey wants to reach: Jockey's Facebook fans have exploded nearly 2,000 percent since he came aboard as an endorser in July 2010.
With Tebow as the face of the promotion, Jockey has attracted nearly 50,000 consumer entries to its $1 million "Super" challenge. The promotion offers consumers nationwide the chance to win 40,000 $25 gift cards. One fan will get $15,000 in honor of Tebow's jersey number.
Tebow is picky about endorsements. He works with Jockey, Nike and FRS energy drinks. Tebow gave FRS and Nike free plugs Tuesday as he appeared at a nationally televised Broncos news conference in an FRS hat and Nike shirt.
"That was a nice surprise," FRS President Carl Sweat said.