If Jameis Winston does become famous in the NFL, he is at least putting himself in position to capitalize on it.
Winston, the potential No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, has filed to trademark "Famous Jameis," a nickname he was given during his impressive, two-year stint at Florida State, where he won a national title and a Heisman Trophy and only lost the last of his 27 games as a starter.
"We have begun taking steps to protect our client and his intellectual property rights," said Russ Spielman, a partner of The Legacy Agency, which represents Winston. "Right now, his sole focus is on football. We hope to utilize this way down the line."
Records with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show The Legacy Agency filed the trademark on behalf of Winston on Feb. 5.
Winston has said he has been called the nickname since his Little League baseball days, but the phrase gained national steam as he rolled off impressive wins in the school's 2013 undefeated title season. The nickname appeared on merchandise, and a man from Alabama, Winston's home state, attempted to trademark it. The government office challenged the filing on the grounds that it likely was connected to the football star.
In 2013, Winston told the Palm Beach Post he wasn't paying attention to the spread of "Famous Jameis" because he was known as "Jaboo" while growing up in Hueytown, Alabama.
"When people call me Famous Jameis, I know I'm not famous -- our team is famous," he told the Post. "That stuff comes with winning. As long as we keep winning, it will come up."
His cashing in on the phrase, of course, depends on how good Winston becomes at the next level. Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman in 2012, has filed for 10 different trademarks including "Johnny Football," but Manziel's lack of impact this past season for the Cleveland Browns has cooled the prospective play for phrases he owns or soon will own on merchandise.
RGIII owns the trademark to his full name, Robert Griffin III, and has filed for the trademark to six other phrases, but his sponsor, Adidas, has used fewer of his phrases on its shirts and socks as the Washington Redskins quarterback has fallen from grace.