Johnny Manziel: The $37 million season

The lifeblood of the Aggies’ 11-win season in their first year of the SEC was Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. And because of the electrifying freshman, TAMU estimated that the team – and most notably Manziel and Kevin Sumlin – produced $37 million in media exposure.

Here’s a portion of how the study was conducted by Texas A&M:

The university recently retained the services of a renowned sports and sponsorship evaluation company to measure the media exposure generated by the football team’s historic finish and quarterback Johnny Manziel winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates ( shows that the redshirt freshman winning the prestigious trophy produced more than 1.8 million media impressions, which translates into $37 million in media exposure for Texas A&M.

Media impressions, the company officials explain, include news mentions from print, television and internet sources. The figures do not reflect increases from merchandise sales, ticket requests or donations to the school, all of which historically have risen dramatically at schools that have produced a Heisman Trophy winner. The Collegiate Licensing Company has calculated a five-year average growth in sales and royalties of 27.5 percent based on the past five Heisman winners.

“We’ve long known that winning the most coveted trophy in sports attracts a great deal of media coverage, but this study gives us a much better understanding of the extent of the impact of the accomplishments of Coach Kevin Sumlin, Johnny Manziel and the entire team during the memorable season we just completed,” says Eric Hyman, Texas A&M’s athletic director. “The study validates how winning the Heisman Trophy truly does capture the national spotlight, and it’s a great way to start our membership in the SEC, which provides unparalleled visibility for our university.”

The study shows that television exposure totaled more than $7.6 million, print exposure was $7.5 million and internet news totaled $20.5 million in media value. Also, the report reveals that some 26 USA Today articles referencing Texas A&M produced almost $1 million in media value from that outlet alone.

Does Johnny Manziel receive any cut of that? No. In fact, he’ll end up owing $3,000 to $3,222 to the university out of his own pocket per year, according to a study by the National College Players Association and Drexel University. As it turns out, the average all-expenses-paid “full scholarship” doesn’t pay all expenses.

Think about that. A young man’s season, in which he just dominated college football, was worth $37 million. And he won’t get a cut of it. Not even a penny of it. He’ll end up owing the university money.

But you also have to remember Texas A&M has done their part, too, investing money on their brand and program to give Manziel the platform and pedestal to make that type of impression.

It’s amazing, though, the impact that 13 games can have on a program’s brand and university.

Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


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