Lynch cashing in on 'Beast Mode'

Updated: January 17, 2014, 1:58 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Marshawn Lynch isn't letting anyone else cash in on his "Beast Mode" moniker.

The Seattle Seahawks running back earned in the mid-six figures from licensing the phrase in 2013, according to agent Doug Hendrickson. Lynch has two registered trademarks, to use the term on clothing and hats, and has two trademarks pending to be able to use "Beast Mode" on sunglasses, headphones, bracelets and cleats.

"He has spent a lot of money to make sure he owns and protects this," Hendrickson said.

[+] EnlargePatrick Willis and Marshawn Lynch
Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty ImagesMarshawn Lynch earned in the mid-six figures in 2013 from his licensing of the phrase "Beast Mode."

For those companies Lynch chooses to work with -- he rejects about five proposals a month -- there's a typical 20 percent sales royalty fee, and Lynch has to approve every design.

The University of South Carolina athletic department, supplement company MusclePharm and Deuce Watches all give him a cut of their "Beast Mode" businesses. So too did Aaron Rodgers' brother Luke, whose company Pro Merch made 2,500 "Beast Mode" shirts to sell at a Target in Seattle. They sold out in three days, Hendrickson said. This week, Lynch gave Joe Montana's wife, Jennifer, the rights to sell "Beast Mode" necklaces on her website in exchange for a piece of each $124 sale.

For those companies that use the phrase without his permission, there are cease and desist letters. Even companies that sign Lynch to a business deal don't automatically get rights to "Beast Mode."

Thus far, Lynch has given a stiff-arm to Nike, which pays him to endorse its products. Hendrickson said things could change on the Nike front if the Seahawks advance to the Super Bowl and his client is presented with the right side deal. He has an exclusive autograph deal with Washington-based Mill Creek Sports. But Hendrickson said the two sides haven't come to terms on a deal that would allow the company to have Lynch sign "Beast Mode" along with his autograph.

Limiting the use of "Beast Mode" has made it more valuable, and it has included stopping other athletes from being able to use it. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp started using "Beast Mode" more frequently of late, but when the Dodgers went to Lynch for permission to use the phrase in association with Kemp, Lynch turned them down despite the promise of a $100,000 royalty, Hendrickson said.

All the money generated by "Beast Mode" goes to Lynch's Fam 1st Family Foundation.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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