CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Disgraced quarterback Michael Vick has rejoined Nike's endorser roster, one of his agents said at a sports-marketing symposium in New York today.
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Mike Principe, a principal at Blue Equity, which represents Mr. Vick, told attendees at the Sports Business Journal/Relay Worldwide Sports Sponsorship Symposium that Mr. Vick had reached a deal to return to Nike, but he did not disclose any further details.
Reached shortly after reports of Mr. Principe's comments started catching fire on Twitter this afternoon, a Nike spokesman said he was "checking," but did not reply by deadline with a confirmation.
Vick's primary agent, Joel Segal, confirmed the deal in a statement to Sports Business Daily: "Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again. He has always been a fan of the brand and looks forward to the relationship," Mr. Segal said.
Nike -- along with EA Sports and AirTran -- dropped Mr. Vick in 2007 after he plead guilty to running an interstate dogfighting ring. He was cut by his team, the Atlanta Falcons, and later went to prison. In a 2007 statement concerning Mr. Vick, Nike said, "We consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent."
But he was released earlier this year and signed a new deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for a modest backup role behind the team's star quarterback, Donovan McNabb.
None of his other former endorsees have taken him back, but Mr. Vick has embarked on an ambitious image-rehabilitation campaign that includes recording public-service announcements for the Humane Society of the U.S. and a series of mea-culpa style interviews.
Mr. Vick played his first regular-season NFL game since his incarceration last weekend and was largely ineffective in limited action on the field.