July 01, 2011
A year ago, Michael Vick(notes) won a lot of fans back with his incredible play on the field for the Philadelphia Eagles. It was impressive enough to land him a spot on the Pro Bowl team, but maybe more important than that for Vick personally is the influence he must have on had on the Nike people, because according to CNBC's Darren Rovell, Vick will be back with the Swoosh.
According to Rovell, it's the first time in the history of sports marketing that a company dropped an athlete from their brand, as Nike did back in 2007 after news came out about Vick and dogfighting, and then signed them back to the team.
"Michael acknowledges his past mistakes," said Nike spokesman Derek Kent. "We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field."
What does this mean for Nike, and more importantly, for Vick?
First, for Nike, it means getting one of the most watched, and most controversial, players in football back under its logo. No matter if you love or hate Vick, and most people have a polarizing stance on the guy, you will watch him when he's on the field, and that is just more exposure for Nike.
For Vick, it shows that the public is moving past the dogfighting and seeing him more as a football player again. Sure, his friends and family can boost him up, but when a company is willing to dump millions of dollars back into your boat, you have obviously recuperated quite well.
Nike isn't the first to give Vick another chance in the corporate world. Unequal Technologies and Core Synergy both signed Vick as a sponsor after the 2010 season, but nothing has been nearly as big, and significant, as Nike.
No word yet on how much the contract will be for, but I'm sure whatever the price, it will be good for both Nike and Mr. Vick.
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