Ok – not sure how many of you know what SEO (search engine optimization) is or even care about football, but I do on both fronts. I’m not a huge NFL fan in general, but I really like how Johnny Manziel electified the field at my alma mater, Texas A&M University.

So that being said, as I watched the NFL draft last night, I was floored while I watched both the Texans and the Cowboys pass on Johnny Manziel. I would have liked to see him go to either team and keep the boy in Texas, but that’s me being selfish.

As a little background, my passion is to help client’s get their websites found on the search engines. It’s my job to ensure they rank at the top and they make money from being on the top. I have tools that help me find highly searched terms so I know what searches to target.

So as I watched the draft, I started doing some digging on the search term “Johnny Manziel.” What I found floored me.

I was astounded that from a pure marketing and SEO stand point and the marketability of Johnny Manziel, I think that both the Texans and the Cowboys really missed the boat. In the pictures below you’ll see the amount of searches done for three people, Johnny Manziel, Tony Romo, and one of the most popular QBs in the NFL today, Tom Brady.

Johnny Manziel – 673,000 Average Searches

Johnny has average searchs per month on Google of 673,000. His peak last year was in August at 1.6 Million searches.  To put that in context, Tom Brady’s peak during the playoffs in January was 1.8 Million.


Tony – 246,000 searches per month on Google.


Tom Brady – 450,000 average searches per month.


Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to see who wins right?

What Does this Mean?

So, should a franchise owner take searches into consideration? Heck yeah in my opinion. If you look at it from a pure merchandising standpoint, Johnny is a goldmine. He’ll not only fill seats at the stadium, but most imporant to any franchise, he’ll sell a TON of stuff. Imagine t-shirts with Johnnny Cowboy or Johnny Texan. Either one works.

So let’s do some quick math. Let’s assume we have Johnny on our team and we’re selling a simple shirt that costs $4 to produce and you sell it for $15. It has a profit level of $11 per shirt. With me so far?

Let’s also assume that if you’re number one for the search “Johnny Manziel” and you get 50% (I’m being very conservative here) of the average annual searches of 673,000. That comes out to 336,500 visitors per month to our site.

That’s a lot of visitors by the way.

Then let’s assume we’re going to convert 10% of the searches to buyers of our t-shirt. That would mean we would sell 33,650 t-shirts. With a profit level of $11, that means we would most likely sell $370,150 per month of one single t-shirt. That’s $4,441,800 annually on one shirt.

And that’s assuming we only convert 10%. I would imagine that if I’m searching for Johnny, the conversion rate might be a little higher right? What if it’s 50%? That’s $22,209,000 worth of shirts annually. Not bad for one shirt right?

And what if we sell a Jersey instead of a t-shirt? And we make $20 per shirt (Sell for $25 and make for $5). That would make it $40,380,000 annually on one jersey.

All of this of course assumes his searches per month stay the same. And if Johnny proves to be a winner? Sheesh. Remember the 90’s with Troy Aikman? Just about every boy I knew had an Aikman jersey.

And none of this assumes we’ll sell more than one Johnny paraphernalia item to the visitor. What if they’re a rabid fan and they buy a bunch of stuff?

Or what if we target other Johnny searches? There are a TON of related searches that I see. There’s “Johnny Manziel shirt”, “Johnny Manziel hat”, and of course don’t forget “Johnny Football”.

Johnny is a BIG Unknown on the Field, but SEO and Merchandising?

I know Johnny Manziel is a big unknown right now regarding football itself both on and off the field, but from a pure SEO and merchandising standpoint, I think both the Texans and the Cowboys (biggest merchandising NFL franchise out there) passed up on something this huge. Especially the Cowboys. Jerry – not quite sure what you’re thinking!

The sole point of a business is to make money right? So why did they pass up that opportunity?

Heck, I’m halfway considering starting up a Johnny fan club just so I can sell shirts! He’s a pure goldmine right now!

What do you think?