UPDATED: In what might be the fastest “about face” in corporate history, Nike denies a deal with Vick.
From The Associated Press:
Nike: We don’t have endorsement deal with Vick
Nike says it does not have a “contractual relationship” with Michael Vick, a day after the quarterback’s agent announced a deal with the manufacturer.
In a statement released Thursday morning, Nike says it has “agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”
On Wednesday, Michael Principe, the managing director of BEST, the agency that represents Vick, announced the Philadelphia Eagles player had a new deal with Nike during a panel discussion at the Sports Sponsorship Symposium.
Vick’s agent, Joel Segal, did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday.
Nike, which signed Vick as a rookie in 2001, terminated his contract in August 2007 after he filed a plea agreement admitting his involvement in a dogfighting ring.
If you are shocked and disappointed that Nike would want to again use Michael Vick to advertise their products, feel free to let Nike know right here. Please don’t use abusive language, just let them know that you and your family will not be buying anything from them as long as Michael Vick is endorsing Nike goods.
Vick Signs Deal To Endorse Nike Products
Michael Vick, once embroiled in controversy for his role in a dog-fighting ring, has signed an endorsement deal with Nike, his agent said Wednesday.
Vick, signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in August after completing a 23-month prison sentence, will wear Nike shoes, gear and apparel as part of the agreement.
“Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again,” Vick’s agent, Joel Segal, said. Segal reportedly negotiated the Nike deal as well as Vick’s deal to return to the NFL as a member of the Eagles.
Segal would not reveal terms of the agreement. Nike declined a request for comment.
The deal was announced during a panel discussion at the Sports Sponsorship Symposium by Michael Principe, the managing director of BEST, the agency that represents Vick.
Nike suspended its previous endorsement deal with Vick in 2007, in the wake of news of Vick’s involvement with dog fighting.
“… Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent,” the company said then in a statement. “However, we do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen in the United States, therefore, we have not terminated our relationship.”
The Eagles signed Vick to a one-year contract with an option for a second year on Aug. 13. The deal is reportedly worth $1.6 million for the first year and $5.2 million for the option year.
Vick made his first appearence in a regular-season game for the Eagles last Sunday, going 0-2 passing and rushing once for 7 yards in a limited role in the Eagles’ 34-14 victory over the Chiefs.
“It is quite evident that athletes that run afoul of the law are by no means relegated to obscurity when it comes to pitching products,” said David Carter, a professor of sports marketing at the University of Southern California.