NFL

Johnny Manziel Signs Deal to Be Represented by Nike

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Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 7, 2014

For the foreseeable future, Johnny Football will come with a swoosh.  

According to company spokesman KeJuan Wilkins, via ESPN's Darren Rovell, the future NFL quarterback has elected to sign a marketing deal with Nike:

Rovell's sources were not able to disclose the financial terms, but they did say the deal—which was negotiated by LeBron James' business partner Maverick Carter and Fenway Sports Group—is a multi-year offer that will be the most expensive for a rookie in this year's class. 

Manziel chose Nike over other companies such as Adidas, Under Armour and New Balance's Warrior brand. The first, of course, is what the young QB wore at Texas A&M, leading Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin to call it a missed opportunity:

It would have been hard for Manziel to turn down Nike, though. 

According to Forbes.com, the popular company is the 24th-most valuable brand in the world, coming in at No. 1 in the apparel industry. Adidas is 61st overall. 

Moreover, as Rovell notes, Nike, which is the official uniform supplier for the NFL, has already signed star quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Manziel is joining a prestigious group.

On the other side of things, Nike is getting the most marketable player in the draft. 

There may be concerns about Manziel's maturity and off-field behavior—which certainly present potential risks in the marketing department—but the potential top-five pick has electrifying talent and is one of the most popular young players in America. 

Moreover, as sports marketer Web Smith points out, Manziel's nickname alone will be extremely profitable:

Rovell reminds us that an organization in College Station is attempting to patent "Johnny Football" on the claim that the moniker doesn't refer to an actual person, but it's hard to imagine that working out in any favor other than Manziel's. 

Either way, it's quite clear that this is the beginning of a very fruitful relationship. 

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