The selling of Tim Tebow has begun.
This weekend, products with Tebow's name and jersey No. 15 started appearing on the New York Mets' online shop. Based on jerseys sold Monday, Tebow's was shown as the No. 1 best-seller on Fanatics and MLB's online shop, ahead of stars such as David Ortiz and Kris Bryant.
Teams usually are not allowed to use a player's name or image until he makes the 40-man major league roster, as those players are not considered part of the union. But sources said Tebow signed a bridge agreement with the official jersey supplier Majestic Athletic last week, which allows the company to merchandise him before he makes the majors.
The Mets' online shop is currently selling a pinstriped Mets replica jersey in both men's and women's cuts; a couple of jersey T-shirts are available in men's and women's sizes.
Tebow's University of Florida football jersey was among the best-selling collegiate jerseys of all time. His NFL jerseys with the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles frequently made the best-seller list.
After signing Tebow to a deal earlier this month, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson denied that it had anything to do with a merchandise play.
"I have to tell you, the notion that we're going to spend $100,000 on a bonus for a player so we can sell a couple hundred dollars' worth of T-shirts in Kingsport [Tennessee, where the Mets have a minor league team], those economics don't work," Alderson said at the time. "This was not about making money."
Nonetheless, the organization is now selling Tebow gear as he took the field for the first time Monday at the organization's instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
On Monday morning, a golf cart full of Tebow jerseys was seen making its way to the field.
Mets spokesman Harold Kaufman said there are currently no Tebow items being sold at Citi Field, though that could change.
Citi Field is where the Mets could really cash in. Sales on online team sites are split equally among all MLB teams, but the Mets could make money they won't have to split as a retailer if those jerseys are sold at the ballpark.