Browns, businesses cash in on Johnny Football

CLEVELAND -- He has yet to step on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium.

But Johnny Manziel is already having a big economic impact in Greater Cleveland.

The Browns team shop did a land-office business, with fans lining up to get custom-made Manziel jerseys.

It meant waiting up to an hour and a half and ponying up $150.

But fans in line said it was worth it.

Jake Simon said, "It's the best thing to happen in Cleveland in a long time."

Browns Vice President Brent Stehlik said drafting Manziel launched an instant boom in season ticket sales.

More than 1,500 were sold by mid-day Friday.

"I've never seen anything like this. ... My sales team got very little sleep. We went home late, came in early, and our phones have been ringing off the hook," he said.

At Amazing Tickets, the Manziel bump in business has been, well, amazing.

Co-owner Anthony Klang compared it to the interest generated in tickets when the Cavs got LeBron James in the NBA draft.

"In the past 24 hours, we have seen a tremendous spike in hits on our website. We have sold more tickets than we did the first week after the Browns' schedule came out," he said.

Fresh Brewed Tees owned the rights to be the first local company printing Manziel T-shirts.

Manziel's face may help build owner Tony Madalone's fortune.

"We were first in the market. We are the only one in Ohio with NFL players union rights. ... We'll print more Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday trying to keep up," he said.


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