Slogan may profit Johnny Manziel

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

If Texas A&M ever decides to formally include "The House That Johnny Built" in the name of its football stadium, Johnny Manziel appears to be in line to cash in.

Both Manziel and the family of his longtime friend, Nate Fitch, had filed to trademark "The House That Johnny Built," but the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office notified the Fitch family on Monday that its registration was refused.

"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection to Johnny Manziel," the note said. "Although Johnny Manziel is not connected with goods and/or services provided by applicant under the applied-for mark, Johnny Manziel is so famous that consumers would presume a connection."

In January, Manziel applied for the trademark with the intention to use it on everything from shirts and hats to "women's athletic tops with built-in bras."

The Fitch family has six months to respond, but the preliminary ruling puts Manziel in the driver's seat to one day own the trademark.

At a news conference held by Texas A&M's board of regents Monday to provide an update on the $450 million renovation of Kyle Field, a board member said he'd want the new name to include a reference to the 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, who was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.

"My vision is that someday I hope the Aggie nation will come together and decide that we can revise the name of Kyle Field to 'Kyle Field -- The House That Johnny Built,'" board member Jim Schwertner said.

Schwertner said that the project -- which will expand the stadium's capacity to 102,500 for the 2015 season -- had been discussed for a long time, but that "because of a young man by the name of Johnny Manziel we were able to raise all of the money in two months."

"The House That Johnny Built" is one of nine trademarks that Manziel's company, JMAN2 Enterprises, has filed for. Manziel has also filed for "Johnny Football" and registered some logos.

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