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RG3 can capitalize on endorsement deals

by Adam Shear

WACO - A Forbes article is projecting that Robert Griffin III will make about $5 million/year with his new rookie salary and with endorsements he is expected to make an additional $1-3 million on top of that.

Despite having to wait three more months until Griffin will know where his NFL paycheck will be coming from, the Heisman Trophy winner can now begin capitalizing on his popularity.

When Griffin announced that he had signed with Creative Artistry Agency (CAA) agent Ben Dogra, his business opportunities began.

"You talked to anybody who's followed college football at all over the last year, no matter where they are located, and they know Robert Griffin," said Darren Heitner, an agent with Dynasty Representatives and founder of The Sports Agent Blog. "That is a big key for the bigger brands that are going to be spending the types of endorsements dollars you're interested in."

Baylor University is planning to speak with Griffin soon about producing merchandise that depicts his image and name. The NCAA prevents schools from doing this when an athlete is enrolled and does not have an agent. Baylor believes it would need to compensate Griffin in some form if it were to produce merchandise such as bobble heads.

"Robert has done so much for Baylor," said Nick Joos, the Executive Associate Athletic Director for Baylor. "Anything we would do would be in partnership and in concert with him if he wanted to do something."

Appearances are another opportunity for Griffin to benefit from. A national booking agency that handles speaking engagements for athletes believes that Griffin could make anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per appearance.

After former Heisman winner Tim Tebow signed with an agent in 2010 he set up a public autograph signing with a local Jacksonville, Fl. sports memorabilia store where customers paid $150 per Tebow signature and $75 per picture opportunity.

"It's not hard work for the athlete," said Heitner. "It gets them out in public. It gets them meeting people who are actually attending the games and supporting them. It certainly is quite a good venture for everyone involved."

According to Baylor Griffin's only endorsement has come from Upper Deck Trading Cards. Griffin autographed several cards for the company along with teammates Terrance Ganaway and Kendall Wright.

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