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Michael Vick: Back in (the Endorsement) Business

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles talks to the media after their game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)
Patrick MauroAnalyst IOctober 1, 2009

Wow, that didn't take long. I thought he'd at least have to score a touchdown or lead the Eagles to victory or supplant Kevin Kolb or Donovan McNabb as the Eagles starting quarterback. But, despite what the "swoosh people" say, the endorsement spigot has apparently been turned back on for Michael Vick.

Nike's suits in PR put out the damage control statement Thursday that they do not have a “contractual relationship” with Vick, but that they “agreed to supply product to Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”

Yeah, right. I'd bet the farm Vick will be used to sell Nike products in the coming 12-18 months. That Eagles No. 7 jersey is selling quite well, and it's not because of Ron Jaworski.

The story Wednesday was that Nike signed the dog guy to an endorsement deal, two years after deciding they didn't want a canine killer pimping their product, calling his dog ring-leading actions “inhumane, abhorrent, and unacceptable.”

Time heals all endorsement wounds.

“Mike has a long-standing, great relationship with Nike, and he looks forward to continuing that relationship,” his agent, Joel Segal, said Wednesday.

Yeah, he never killed any of their dogs.

Segal also said, "The player and company had agreed not to release terms of the deal."

And to think, all it took to get this deal was an 0-for-2 passing performance with one run for seven yards.

Maybe they got him on the cheap.

Maybe they plan on using him in an ad-campaign in dog eating countries.

I thought he'd have to sit down with the president and a pit bull (not Sarah Palin) and share a beer or a dog bone or something.

This is almost too easy.

But thinking back on it, the fervor died down pretty quickly after the Philadelphia Eagles signed Bad Newz Kennels personified.

The court of perceived public opinion has moved on.

Yes, he served his debt to society and all that, but shouldn't some sort of on-field accomplishment be achieved before rewarding this guy with endorsement dollars?

That's the question of the naive idealist.

What this proves is that the majority of society has moved on. They're no longer as outraged by Vick's actions. Memories are short.

Don't underestimate the suits in research and marketing. Nike doesn't invest in entities they don't think will make them cash.

Sign him now so he's under contract when the public's emotion subsides.

The "swoosh people" have no trouble removing emotion from the equation.


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