SBD/November 12, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Manziel Family, Texas A&M Working To Trademark "Johnny Football" Nickname

Manziel's No. 2 jersey went on sale at the Texas A&M campus bookstore on Friday
The family of Texas A&M Univ. QB Johnny Manziel is "putting itself in position to one day capitalize" off his Johnny Football nickname, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Texas A&M Assistant VP/Business Development Shane Hinckley said, "Texas A&M is working in concert with the Manziel family to trademark the nickname." Rovell noted the news "comes less than two weeks after an organization called Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, based in College Station, Texas, filed for the 'Johnny Football' trademark." In order to "keep Manziel's eligibility intact, neither Texas A&M nor the family can sell products with Johnny Football that in any way hints of a connection to Manziel." However, the school "can, and is expected to by the NCAA, stop vendors from doing so as well." Hinckley said that Manziel's No. 2 jersey "hit the campus bookstore for the first time this season on Friday, with a bigger shipment coming on Monday." Prior to that, the only jersey numbers available this season have been "the generic No. 1 and No. 12, a standard number available each year at Texas A&M, famous for its 12th man" (ESPN.com, 11/11). Hinckley said that he "isn't concerned about Manziel's jersey number hitting stores so late in the season because the player is young and has plenty of years left." Hinckley added that the school has "sent eight cease-and-desist letters over the past two weeks to those who tried to sell items with his nickname on their merchandise" (ESPN.com, 11/8).
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