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From Christmas ornaments to beer, Tebowmania good for business

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DENVER -- Broncos fans love Tim Tebow because of his inspiring performance on the field, but an increasing number of people love him because of the money he can make them.

The unconventional quarterback has become a one-man corporation.

"It's being called NativiTebow," chuckles Denver artist and Vietnam veteran Mike Higgs.

Higgs started making unconventional garden gnomes in his garage, some on roller skates, others in VWs, while others wear camouflage. But now Higgs is creating a football figurine in a most recognizable pose.

"This is the first day on the market," he says.

It's a tribute to Tim Tebow, but Higgs is careful to not infringe on the Denver Broncos or the NFL.

"I avoided using anything representing the Denver Broncos, their uniform, their design, the name, their colors, their logo," Higgs says.

Higgs sells the statue plain or painted blue and white.

And he's not alone in selling a product using Tebow's image.

On Sunday, "Tebrew" debuts at Bonfire Brewing in Eagle, and there were Tebow Christmas cards selling on Ebay, which have since been pulled.

"This is Tim Tebow intellectual property," Says Metro State Marketing Professor Darrin Duber-Smith. "He owns the right to his image. He would have to give express written consent to use that image."

Duber-Smith says authorized sellers pay a pretty penny for Tebow's endorsement. Palm Beach Autographs has exclusive rights to Tebow's autograph for a year.

Getting Tim Tebow's <runtime:topic id="PEHST000867">John Hancock</runtime:topic> will cost you $250 to start, and 1,000 autographs have been presold.

"He's kind of this all-American moral force," says Duber-Smith.

And it will be up to Tebow whether Higgs tribute to him stands.

"Just knowing Tebow, he would say, 'Oh let him make a few bucks,' says Duber-Smith.

Higgs, who has only sold two statues so far, hopes he doesn't get a call to cease and desist with the NativiTeboo.

"If he does call, I hope it's because he'd like to meet me or shake my hand," says Higgs.

Higgs said he'd like to talk with Tebow about donating a portion of his sales to one of his charities, and he says he will stop making the statues if Tebow wants.

But Higgs certainly isn't doing it to make a lot of money.

He's very passionate about the Broncos, saying he's been a fan for 39 years.

He's even painted his basement walls to look like game day inside what use to be Mile High Stadium.

You can find the plaster NativiTeboo statues at Sportique at 303.761.9635 or through Twitter @southstands303 or contacting Higgs at DenverCityDenver@gmail.com.

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