The Mike Vick redemption tour continues.
Darren Rovell of CNBC reports that Nike has decided to do business again with Vick, four years after Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and gambling charges.
“Michael acknowledges his past mistakes,” Nike spokesman Derek Kent told Rovell. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
In 2009, after Vick emerged from prison and signed with the Eagles, Nike and Vick resumed their relationship, albeit on a much more limited basis. In response to comments from Vick’s agent, Joel Segal, who said that “Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again,” Nike came out and said that Vick isn’t really part of the team again.
“Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick,” Nike spokesman Kejuan Wilkins told Rovell at the time. “We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”
Still, we sifted through the reports and the facts and determined that, even when Nike only provides product, a contract is always signed. The fact that the parties have found a way to get past that awkwardness arguably says as much about Vick’s return to prominence as Nike’s ability to forget about his admitted criminal actions.
This time around, Vick is definitely getting paid, on top of the product. For now, the amount isn’t known.
The next question will be whether Nike will face any repercussions from customers. Our guess is that Nike did plenty of surveys and focus groups and other stuff before doing the deal, eventually confident that having Vick sign on the bottom line won’t hurt the company’s bottom line.