Manziel Jerseys Selling Out As Texas A&M Moves To Stop Unauthorized Merch Sales
Texas A&M Univ. is capitalizing on QB Johnny Manziel's “early greatness in a big way,” according to a front-page piece by Brent Zwerneman of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The school has “ordered a glut of ‘No. 2’ jerseys -- albeit without his last name to avoid any NCAA violations -- and the on-campus Barnes & Noble is scurrying to meet the demand.” Texas A&M's on-campus student store “quickly sold out of more than 500 No. 2 T-shirts recently ordered, and 50 No. 2 jerseys that Barnes & Noble received Friday are nearly sold out.” Student store manager Anna Cordero said, "We can't keep them around. We're hoping to get more soon, but we can't make any promises." Texas A&M Compliance Dir David Batson said that the athletic department “has sent about 10 cease-and-desist orders of late, primarily to T-shirt makers aiming to capitalize on Manziel's sudden exposure.” Batson: "One hundred percent of the people so far have been, 'Oh, we're sorry. We didn't realize that.' Then the next day another company tries the same thing. It's not something we're upset about, though. We're excited to have a player of this level that we need to send out these cease-and-desist orders." Texas A&M Associate AD/Media Relations Alan Cannon said that there “aren't any special plans as of now" to promote Manziel for the Heisman Trophy. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said, "It's been my experience those things take care of themselves” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/13).
JOHNNY COME LATELY: Manziel's grandfather Paul Manziel said of efforts to trademark the Johnny Football nickname, "It's really just to protect Johnny. If Johnny does well, if anyone ought to profit from his ability, it ought to be Johnny." In Texas, Allen Reed in a front-page piece reports Paul Manziel along with other family members “hired Tyler attorney Bennett White to trademark the moniker.” The family “made the move about a month ago, after A&M officials introduced the idea to the family and warned them of unlicensed ‘Johnny Football’ gear.” White said that the trademark registration “can take about eight months, depending on how easy it is to register and if there's any opposition.” Paul Manziel said that “making money off the trademark is an afterthought,” but he added that Johnny Football merchandise "might eventually materialize." He said, "If he goes pro and if he does well in college they could market 'Johnny Football' video games or shirts or things of that nature" (Bryan-College Station EAGLE, 11/13).