Power 100: Five Athletes to Watch in 2012

Tim Tebow

He’s pushing $10 million in annual endorsement revenue, has more than 1 million Twitter followers, and recently was named America’s favorite pro athlete in an ESPN poll. It might be hard to fathom, but despite being our eighth-ranked athlete off the field, Tim Tebow’s on-field numbers were so abysmal in 2011 that they single-handedly prevented him from making this year’s list. After three straight years of naming Tebow to my Five Athletes to Watch list, his case in 2012 is simple. If he improves as a pro quarterback—even incrementally—you’ll see him in next year’s Power 100. If he stays the same or regresses, he won’t make the Power 100, and he certainly won’t be one of my athletes to watch. “How much Tebowmania will translate into his power rankings next season is yet to be seen, but media hype and strong beliefs don’t always translate into long-term big business,” says Gerry Philpott, chief executive of E-Poll Market Research.

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