Soon, using the phrase "Johnny Football" might cost you.
The nickname used for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is about to be trademarked. ESPN's Darren Rovell reports that the Manziel family and Texas A&M are working together to trademark "Johnny Football" now that the redshirt freshman has become so popular.
The Manziel's and Texas A&M are not trademarking the name to profit off it, but rather prevent anyone else from using it. Profiting from Manziel's nickname would damage his amateur status with the NCAA. An organization called Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, based in College Station, Texas, filed for the "Johnny Football" trademark. Rovell notes that it could take years for the Manziel's to own the trademark and there has to be due diligence to make sure no one else used the name before A&M fans started using it for Manziel.
Manziel's popularity reached a fever pitch this last weekend when Manziel led the Aggies to a 29-24 upset of No. 1 Alabama. So far this season he's thrown for 18 touchdowns and rushed for 15 more. He's had just six interceptions and has the Aggies primed for a BCS at-large berth.
Even though neither the Manziel's nor the university can sell items with the name "Johnny Football" on it (to preserve Manziel's amateur status), A&M will still make millions selling "No. 2" jerseys.
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