When Cameron Crowe was writing Jerry Maguire, which came out 21 years ago today, he had high hopes that the movie would spawn a signature quote that would stand out to audiences and get plastered on t-shirts. And if he would have chosen a line most likely to do that, it would have been Rod Tidwell's line about his "kwan," he told Premiere Magazine in 2000.
The "kwan" never took off, but as we all know, Crowe did write an iconic line in Jerry Maguire. He wrote a few, in fact, including "You complete me," and "You had me at hello." But only one landed on AFI's list of greatest movie quotes and cemented itself into the pop culture lexicon.
While Crowe didn't immediately recognize the genius of "Show me the money," one California man did. Today, ESPN's Darren Rovell passed along a story from Santa Barbara Magazine about that man's prescience after watching Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. bat the line back and forth on the big screen.
His name is Haig Fisher, and he saw Jerry Maguire in theaters in 1996. Unlike Crowe, Fisher immediately saw the potential of "Show me the money" and set about trademarking it as soon as he walked out of the theater. Fisher even beat TriStar Pictures to the punch, but the studio soon came calling.
Over the ensuing weeks TriStar Pictures made multiple offers to Fisher to purchase his trademark. Though financially struggling, Fisher didn’t accept them. And, as Fisher predicted, the phrase “Show Me The Money” became a nationwide – and worldwide – sensation.
With the pressure on, TriStar Pictures finally ended the war of words and made Fisher an offer he couldn’t refuse. They showed him the money. Fisher assigned TriStar Pictures his trademark and it turned out to be a life changer for him. Fisher took the proceeds from the trademark sale and bought the house in Santa Barbara that he still in lives in today.
Fisher went on to start his own company, which you can find here. Naturally, he's in the business of helping people secure trademarks that, if they're lucky, will be as lucrative for them as "Show me the money" was for him and Cuba Gooding Jr.