Coaches Corner: The Business of being John Elway.

Hi Y'All,


Been following all the "outrage" on Twitter world regarding Elway's comments on Tim Tebow today. To be honest, I did not take them as much....and I will explain this in my post.


First, a little story: I tweeted John Elway the other day after the Jets game. I congratulated him on the win and the team, but also on the opening of his new restaurant in Vail, named funnily enough, Elways (I am from Vail). Told him I was excited to check it out with my family.


Now, I have tweeted Elway a few times, both positive and negative, but never received a  tweet back from him...until yesterday!


He was very nice, said thanks, and sent me a link to the new restaurants email site. Wonder why?


Anyway, follow some of my thoughts after the jump......


I found it funny, all the outrage that Elway's latest comments on Tebow garnered. For the interview check here. It was a very good interview, although Elway sounded a bit testy, especially at the start of the interview when Vic and Gary asked how the scouting of Qb's went. Anyway, go listen to it if you are interested. 


once again, John reiterated that he was a fan of Tebow, but he had things to work on and he was no closer to knowing if they the team was closer to knowing if he had a Qb moving forward.


Now, most people will take this as Elway talking as HOFer and former great QB, but I think one thing we have really missed as fans is this: JOHN ELWAY IS NOT SPEAKING ABOUT ANY OF HIS PLAYERS AS A FORMER PLAYER. HE IS SPEAKING ABOUT PURELY FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE. HIS JOB IS THE RUN THE BUSINESS OF DENVER FOOTBALL.


John Elway's Background: As well as being one of the greatest to ever play the game, Elway is a smart man. If you dont know anything about Stanford, it is one of hardest schools to get in to. They hold ALL their students to incredibly high academic standards, even their athletes. John graduated with a Degree in Economics. He was a college athlete in football and baseball. Elway is clearly no dummy!


John Elway in Business: Many of us only know John Elway as a football player, and so, when we hear him speak, we tend to listen to him and take his comments as if he is coming from a purely football perspective. The thing that many of us dont know, is just how successful he has been in business, and when this is looked at in detail, it gives us some clues as to what he is doing as a football executive. Check this out from Wikpedia: 

Elway is currently co-owner of the Arena Football team Colorado Crush, a position he has held since 2002. In February 2007, Elway was elected chairman of the Arena Football League's executive committee.[23] On August 4, 2009 the Arena Football League announced an indefinite suspension of operations.[24] Elway was one of the 17 remaining franchise owners that voted to suspend operations indefinitely.[25]Elway is the owner of two steakhouse restaurants, each named "Elway's": One is located in the upscale Cherry Creek shopping district, and the other is in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Denver.[26]Elway used to own five auto dealerships, called John Elway Autos, in the Denver area. He sold them to AutoNation for $82.5 million in 1997. In December 2006, Elway ended the nine-year licensing agreement with AutoNation Inc., removing his name from Denver-area dealerships. At the time, Elway said the move could allow him to get back into the auto business under his own name.[26] He still owns two Toyota Scion dealerships, one in Manhattan Beach, California and another in Ontario, California[27][28] and a Nissan dealership in Riverside, California.[29]In September 2008, Elway became the spokesperson for[30] Elway also writes a weekly NFL blog on the site.[31]Elway had LASIK eye surgery and endorsed Icon LASIK in the Denver area in November 2008.[32]Elway currently offers his commentary on the Broncos and the NFL season as a whole Friday mornings during the football season on 87.7 The Ticket in Denver.


For more information on Elway in business check here. Suffice to say, John Elway has been one heck of a business man, and has been very successful. He has experience in the football world in Arena League, winning a championship. He obviously gets football, but he gets business just as well.


John Elway as VP of the Denver Broncos: Elway's comments on the team, its players, and in particular, Tim Tebow, need to be taken with a grain of salt. The guy is a trained salesman, an expert business man and unbelievable marketer as is evidenced by the way he has successfully turned his name into its own brand. His job is to sell his product (the Denver Broncos) to the outside world which consists of the fans, the media, the teams sponsors and the public at large.


He needs to protect his product and make it stronger. Making comments like: "Tebow is our starter and we are going all in" does nothing but undermines the building of the product. He plays things close to his chest. He is looking at every contingency, every opportunity to make the team better and is leaving no stone unturned to make sure he accomplishes his goal. Make no mistake, Elway is in the BUSINESS of building a winning product, and dont for one second think he is in the business of coaching that team. Thats up to John Fox. Elway is using business subterfuge and business speak to say enough to keep his stakeholders satisfied, with out remotely giving away his plan or giving his competitors an advantage. Does anyone find it coincidental he went after a experienced coach, known for his own coach speak ways, that knows the game, and plays it close to his chest too?


Elway is a salesman...and a smart one. The whole Tebow controversy is GREAT for business: The team is winning, the team is in the news, the team is relevant, the fans are happy...and the result of that is that Joe Gibbs and Pat Bowlen are reaping the rewards with sold out stadiums and increased revenue. Dont get me wrong....Elways job is to create a GREAT team....but a GREAT team is GREAT business!


Reading between the lines of "Elway Speak": This is totally my take, but bear with me. The more and more I hear Elway speak, read his tweets, listen to interviews, the more and more I respect what he is doing. For example, look at the froth we are all in. Some are screaming Elway wants Tebow to fail, hes an idiot (which I said a few times...happy to eat crow on that one!!!), he is too stuck in his ways, he wants a QB like him....yadda, yadda, yadda.....but here are some facts:


  • Tebow is great for business.
  • Tebow is winning.
  • Elway likes winners.
  • Elway has always been successful in business.
  • Elway will make this a successful business

Reading between the lines, Elway is fully in Tebow's court. I think he believes in Tebow. I also think he believes that telling the world weakens the Denver Bronco's position in building a better team. All the controversy and conspiracy theories running rampant already just helps Elway and Xanders do their job easier. No-one has a handle on what Elway or the team are doing. All we know is that we are 5-5 and in the play off hunt, the guys that they have drafted are playing well, and the team continues to improve. Internally, there seems to be no controversy. The players have each others back, Fox is grinding away and they keep getting better.

Conclusion: Hang on for the ride fans. i have a feeling John Elway and his team are going to be doing business differently than other teams. Elway is smart. He has been a winner on the field, he has been a winner in business and he will surround himself with winners. He is a PASSIONATE Denver Bronco. To think that Elway does not see himself in Tebow makes NO sense from a common sense perspective. He will play it close to his chest, keep the snowball rolling and build us a winner....and my gut tells me that Tim and Von will be leading that charge.....

Oh, and the end to my story of the Duke answering my tweet? I was stoked, but I was a potential customer at his new restaurant, and Elway never misses a sale or a chance to do business!

Hope you all enjoyed. Hit me with ya comments!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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