Breaking Down Heisman Trophy Financials: Baylor Estimates $250M Boost After RGIII's Win
Baylor Univ. estimates that Robert Griffin III's Heisman Trophy win last year was worth $250M in "extra donations, increased ticket sales, licensing fees, sponsorship deals [and] an expanded deal with Fox Sports Southwest," according to Michele Steele of ESPN.com. Baylor said that Griffin’s Heisman win "has resulted in a 10 percent rise in giving to the Bear Foundation," while licensing royalties "are up more than 50 percent." Also, "most importantly, plans for a new $250 million stadium were finalized soon after Griffin’s Heisman win." Baylor Assistant AD/Communications Heath Nielsen said, “We were still beating the trees for donors and money, and as soon as (the Heisman win) happened, we finalized all our plans." Meanwhile, Baylor athletics "set a Web traffic record." Media measurement company General Sentiment said that Baylor "earned the equivalent of $14 million more in media mentions in the month that RG3 won the Heisman." Steele wrote, "But what about the players? ... If you win the Heisman, are you set for life even if you don't have an amazing football career afterward?" ESPN analyst and '89 Heisman winner Andre Ware said, “Not at all." Tri-Star Productions President Jeff Rosenberg, whose company promotes athlete autograph shows, said that the first year after winning the Heisman is "a bonanza for an athlete’s business." After Griffin signed with Tri-Star, he "charged more than $100 per signature." Rosenberg: “They are set up financially, but they’re not what I would call set up financially for life. They’re making tens of thousands per year, not hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.” Pro Stars Ink President Ben Litvin estimates a Heisman winner "can pull down about $50,000 a year from three to four autograph sittings a year, three to four corporate appearances a year, two to three paid golf appearances per year, and three speeches" (ESPN.com, 12/7).
JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is the favorite to win this year's Heisman Trophy, and Texas A&M VP/Business Development Shane Hinckley said that the school has "two full-time employees in compliance devoted to addressing issues related to the unauthorized use of anything related to Manziel on a daily basis." Hinckley, who also runs A&M's athletic licensing business, said that the school's compliance office "has sent out 60 cease-and-desist letters to people making Manziel product and 37 cease-and-desist letters to bootleggers making product specifically using Johnny Football as well as Texas A&M trademarks" (ESPN.com, 12/7).