Kathleen Hessert, who on her Twitter account touts herself as “reputation manager”, Tweeted today:
“BREAKING NEWS: Micheal Vick just signed Nike endorsement deal.”
Hessert later noted that a panelist at an event she was currently attending in New York, SportsBusiness Journal’s Sports Sponsorship Symposium, had revealed the news.
A rep from SportsBusiness Journal also added, via Twitter: “Vick deal was announced during panel by Mike Principe, managing director of BEST, the agency that reps Vick.”
Liz Mullen of SBJ added that Joel Segal is Vick’s agent at BEST agency, so I imagine he was the one who brokered the deal.
Vick had his previous endorsement deal with Nike terminated after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges in 2007.
I’m sure the main media will make this into a much bigger deal than it really is, considering there’s been little-to-no protesting over Vick’s return to the NFL.
It’s a pretty safe bet that Nike consulted with PETA and other animal groups before proceeding with the deal.
There may be some faux protestation by animal rights groups to keep up appearances and grab publicity, but it appears this is a sign corporate america has now concluded that Vick has finally earned his forgiveness with the general public.
Goodness knows he paid a hefty price.