From a Super Bowl appearance, to a sexually-charged skit on Desperate Housewives to his own reality show on VH1, Terrell Owens has never been shy in front of a television camera. With the brand new Terrell Owens: Official App iPhone application, released August 9, the world should get even more FaceTime with the mercurial Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver.
Owens joins teammate Chad Ochocinco, boxer Floyd Mayweather, and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen as the next in the growing number of professional athletes who are tapping into the iPhone wave with their own applications. Along with Twitter and personal blogs, athletes are using iPhone apps to bypass traditional media like television networks and newspapers to interact directly with their adoring fans.
“They feel more connected with the person rather than the athlete or celebrity image,” explained Owens, calling in during a break from Bengals training camp sessions in Georgetown, Kentucky last week. “Whatever I can do to increase interest and create more excitement.” The free application, developed by Irvine, Calif.-based Rock Software, includes standard features like photos and video clips along with a running Batman and Robin gag with Ochocinco recently debuted on Twitter. Owens also uses the app to share and promote a few off-the-field interests.
“I’m into home decor, and there are a number of things I’m involved with like workout tips, dieting, and other things of that nature,” he said. “I’ll teach you how to dress and tie and tie.”
After wearing out his welcome with zany antics in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas, Owens reportedly got a late start in Cincinnati after dealing with last-minute details getting his app ready for the Apple App Store.
While the Bengals may be the best football fit for the 36-year-old former All-Pro seeking one last shot at a Super Bowl ring, the defending AFC North champions also have at least a couple of players who are giving a thumbs up to Owens’ iPhone aspirations. In addition to Ochocinco, who last month followed up his iPhone app with a separate title for the iPad, backup quarterback Jordan Palmer (brother of star starting QB Carson Palmer) is a stakeholder in Rock Software.
Jordan Palmer and partner John Shahidi were unsuccessful in developing an iPhone app for Owens during his relatively quiet season with the Buffalo Bills last year. Might Owens have joined the Bengals for a better chance of getting his iPhone app out the door and promoted?
“Trust me,” Owens said between a couple laughs, “that had zero percent to do with me joining the Bengals. My joining the team had everything to do with winning a championship.”
Owens, who actually uses an Android-powered Samsung Galaxy smartphone, has his hands full with other priorities.
“I’m pretty overloaded with a lot to learn with this new offense,” he said.
There is no app, yet, for crossing the goal line in an NFL game.