The immediate impact of Jameis Winston’s most recent controversial behavior is obvious: He is suspended for Florida State’s game against Clemson on Saturday. There is some discussion he could slip in the draft, which could cost him $12 million or more. But, there are ways to make up the lost income, specifically through endorsement deals. Winston could be jeopardizing that potential revenue as well.
A good comparison for Winston is Johnny Manziel. Prior to the NFL draft, there was some discussion that Johnny Football could be a top-10 pick. Instead, Manziel was selected 22 by the Cleveland Browns (a similar drop to what some have projected for Winston). Manziel has done a good job of recouping some of that lost salary through endorsement deals with Nike, Snickers, Panini and MusclePharm.
Manziel’s brand wasn’t affected by his issues (partying, allegedly being paid for signing autographs while in college), but those problems pale in comparison to Winston’s growing behavioral and character concerns. Winston has hurt his personal brand through his behavior (which includes being accused of sexual assault last year) and most likely won’t be able to recover in the near future. Right now, Winston simply isn’t as marketable as Manziel.
Michael Colangelo is Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute and Senior Editor of The Fields of Green.