- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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Johnny Football is now property of Nike.
Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and potential first overall pick in May's NFL draft, informed the world's largest shoe and apparel brand that it had won the sweepstakes to outfit his feet and use him in marketing campaigns, Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins confirmed Thursday night.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources told ESPN.com that it's a multiyear deal that will be the highest price paid for a rookie in this year's class. Manziel's team negotiating the deal included LeBron James' business manager, Maverick Carter, and Fenway Sports Group.
Adidas, Under Armour and New Balance's Warrior brand all submitted bids for Manziel's marketing rights.
Although his future prospects are far from certain, Manziel is the prize rookie of this year's class.
Landing Manziel eventually might lead to Nike using the phrase "Johnny Football." The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office currently is evaluating the application filed by an organization in College Station, Texas, which claims "Johnny Football" does not refer to a living person. Manziel, who filed the application later on, obviously claims otherwise.
Manziel wore adidas for the two years he was a starter at A&M.
2dEric D. Williams
1dMel Kiper Jr.