July 2, 2016

Partly cloudy

Manziel favorite with advertisers


Brian Dulik

The Gazette

BEREA — The Browns’ backup quarterback continues to be their most sought-after player by advertisers.

Rookie Johnny Manziel has been hired by Mars Chocolate to promote Snickers candy bars, giving him four major marketing endorsements before the start of his first pro training camp.

The No. 22 overall pick in the NFL Draft has already appeared in a national television commercial for McDonald’s, and will be featured in advertisements by Nike and Nissan throughout the upcoming football season.

Snickers plans on using Manziel in its popular “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ad campaign, according to ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

The former Texas A&M star and Heisman Trophy winner is represented jointly by Fenway Sports Management and LRMR, a marketing company founded by Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.

The day-to-day operations of LRMR are run by James’ longtime friend, Maverick Carter, who was responsible for pairing Manziel with “The Chosen One” in his debut commercial for McDonald’s.

Manziel also has filmed a local TV spot for the Collection Auto Group, but is listed second on Cleveland’s official depth chart by coach Mike Pettine. First-stringer Brian Hoyer does not have any significant endorsement deals.

The Browns also made news off the field Friday by hiring a new vice president of communications.

Peter John-Baptiste, who spent the previous 17 seasons with the New York Giants, replaces Zak Gilbert as the franchise’s primary spokesman.

“Peter’s time in a demanding New York market with Super Bowl championship teams make him an incredible asset as we continue to build positive relationships with media and Browns fans,” Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam III said. “He’s a high-quality individual with extensive NFL experience.”

John-Baptiste held the same position with the Giants for the last four years, but has been responsible for coordinating their public and media relations efforts since 2001. The Massachusetts-Amherst graduate also has worked at 10 Super Bowls and one Pro Bowl.

“I’m forever grateful to the Giants organization for giving me my first chance in the NFL and providing a place for me to evolve, grow and prepare for this position,” the married, father of two said. “The Browns are a storied franchise with a strong fan base that I’m very honored to serve. My family is excited about moving to Northeast Ohio.”

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.