Michael Vick’s New Ink: Nike



nike signs michael vick againYes, it is true, Michael Vick and Nike have inked a new deal. After being quite verbose about dropping him due to his legal problems conviction for dog fighting they have now renewed their love for Vick. This is not something we should be shocked by as athletes such as Vick are as explosive on the field as they are off field. Athletes make money for sponsors and sponsors have to be in the game and attach themselves to the athletes to make the money of the contracts back. It is the nature of the business and how athletes themselves are able to gain popularity and exposure which, in turn, brings fans to the stadium. It is the same concept with someone who is getting a lot of retweets or comments on their blog, everyone wants to go and see who they are and friend/connect with them; in pro sports it is on a larger scale.

Michael Vick Inks Nike Deal

Michael Vick seemed to have it all. A dream that every Pop Warner, high school and college football player dreams of every single day. A career in the pros. He was, what seemed to be, on top of his game. But, as we know, fame brings a whole lot of new challenges that poverty does not always bring. Fame brings opportunity, and, as some have said, a thug is a thug and sometimes that is the life they know and no money in the world will change that; it will only enhance it. The deal with Nike prior to 2007 was equally profitable for Nike and Vick as he joined the reigns of those before him with his signature shoe. Now that he has paid his dues and regained his fan base, it is not surprising that Nike and Vick came back together. Or is it surprising? Is this a move to gain attention as the NFL is in a lockout and more advantageous to Nike to create a buzz if there is not a season?

Nike As Official Apparel Supplier

The NFL season right now is looking kinda grim. If they do not hash out a deal soon, the season will be over or shortened. As a fan, who on earth wants to be the team that wins the Super Bowl with only 8 games. I suppose a Lions fan but really that asterisk will always be next to it. Is there a hidden asterisk with the new deal with Vick that Nike is hoping that people forget come April 2012? We know that they supply him his cleats, for which they do for many other players, whose names are unknown to most unless they have Theisman moment, and ESPN shows it over and over. To say that they were/are treating Vick differently is kinda unwarranted in respect to his cleats.

So, what happens in April 2012? Nike becomes the official NFL apparel supplier. Which, for the players, means not too much as a jersey with their name on it spelled correctly, is a jersey. However, for the fans with the authentic NFL apparel jersey, it will not be official anymore. For most, this is not that big of a deal as your favorite, past, present and even traded favorite player will still adorn your body until it starts to look different and different stands out. That different or non-authentic is what Nike will be banking on. Jerseys are big business and only certain players get a jersey (unless you customize). At over $200 a pop they are not only a big deal for the player, but the manufacturer and the supplier/retailer. Once again, it is big business. The bigger the athlete name, endorsements, exposure and of course skill, the bigger the sales. Marketing comes more into play than we think of. Or maybe better said, in our world, with social media and Klout, the more we are seen, talked about by the elite, the higher our score and the higher we are regarded which leads to more business.

Time Forgets The Time

This is not the best header but yet maybe it is. Does Vick deserve that 2nd chance? He committed a crime, was convicted and did his time. Does everyone get this chance of being convicted of a federal crime to return to their career? We know the answer is no. We have seen where there was no conviction in the courts but yet with public opinion where people have lost their career (Weinergate come to mind?). What about the attorney who goes too far and gets disbarred, or the teacher who has a clause in their contract whereby if they get a DUI/DWI they lose their teaching license? Do they deserve a 2nd chance? Most will say no, they screwed up and they deserve to pay. Well did Vick? He did and he was able to return. Most do not have that option. He is incredibly talented and his return got the attention of the media. Shelters that he was seeking to perform  his community service were not welcoming in Philadelphia. Should they have been? Those that did not, got media attention for turning him away, which was less than the ones that would have opened their arms to him.

In social media, we see scandals where brands muff it. They mistweet, they sometimes apologize and sometimes they lose customers. In celebrities/athletes, we see where they are getting back into the groove and we jump on board. They are once again socially acceptable so we are ok with it if a big brand is. Not everyone is but, we know, that behaviorally we do not want to be left out and not on the latest and greatest. It may not be our team or brand but we take notice. This could be why brands that muff it are not back on the good side. We are fans of celebrities and athletes but yet brands we are a part of them. We can buy them easily where with the athletes and celebrities we yearn for their attention. Hmh, maybe the Facebook “Fan” of a page underestimated us all and thought that “fan” meant something more loosely than it does.

In the end, Vick is back with Nike and Nike will be the official sponsor of the apparel of the NFL next year. Sorry Indy as you are set to host the Super Bowl next year … well hello NOLA for the year after and the real/new official NFL gear. I guess we cannot so much complain about that with NOLA still being the real hero of a city recovering.

photo credit: studentofrhythm

  • Some people deserve a second chance

    • I agree but we know that this only happens with celebrities. The person who was working at a nice paying job who for some reason got on the wrong side of the law, I wonder how quickly they will be able to get that job/career back.

      He is a very talented athlete. He brings in dollars to the game in many ways. Does this celebrity status or that he can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars have us place him higher and give him back a career so that others can make money? If he was not as marketable, would he back in the NFL?

    • John

      Only some not this leach