It’s official, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M has signed with an agent and is turning pro. Arguably one of the most mentioned athletes on ESPN and most well known sports figures in the collegiate athletic world, Johnny “Football” as he’s known, has what I believe to be amazing upside in the NFL from a marketing perspective.
First off, his marketing agent Maverick Carter, just also so happens to be the agent for the one and only Lebron James, who racks in about $42 Million in endorsement deals alone. Backtracking to his recent college playing days, during the “Johnny Football Era”, Texas A&M reported a record $740 million in donations to the school, nearly $300 million more than any one-year period in school history according to Bleacherreport. I’m not an expert, but I can almost promise you that those donations weren’t coming in because Texas A&M invented a time travel machine. It was because of their star studded, Heisman winning, freshman quarterback who put the Aggies in the national spotlight.
Aside from Johnny Football’s college career, recent reports indicate that his home states Houston Texans are considering taking Manziel with the first pick of the draft not so much for his sensational talent, but because of his ability to capture the Texas market. Everything from jersey sales to ticket sales would sky rocket just to see this kid play and the Texas fan base has already shown its support for Manziel in a Texans uniform. The Manziel experiment is a risky one that may be worth taking if he can prove his football ability translates to the NFL similar to the Tebow experiment. The marketing frenzy that Tim Tebow created is a standard that Johnny Football might be able to outdo if he can prove he can consistently play at the pro level. If he can make it happen, then get used to hearing Johnny Manziel’s name on ESPN twice as much as we already do. He’s well on his way to becoming the most marketable player in the NFL today.