Back in January, 2011, when Michael Vick signed his first endorsement deal with a local NJ Nissan dealer, we predicted the Michael Vick brand would come back as strong as the player himself. Today, Nike announced they have re-signed Vick to a multi-year brand endorsement contract.
1) His crime had little to do with what built his brand in the first place. Vick made his name by playing winning football, and he is back playing winning football again.
2) He had a dodgy image from day one. His crime was just a further step down a bad road, not a jarring new truth. He never presented himself as a role model like Tiger Woods.
3) Vick paid a high price and is truly repentant. He lost his job in football, lost all endorsements, went to prison, and went bankrupt. Getting a second chance in football, he has worked hard and has earned the respect of his team mates.
Back in 2007, Nike called Vick’s actions “inhumane and abhorrent. ” Today, Nike says, “we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
Everyone cheers a comeback. That’s a good start for the Michael Vick brand. The prodigal son is especially loved.