Nike Re-Signs Michael Vick to Endorsement Deal

Sports-Apparel Giant Renews Ties Cut Four Years Ago After Quarterback Admitted Role in Dog-Fighting Ring

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Nike said it re-signed Michael Vick, whom the world's largest sporting-goods company dropped as an endorser four years ago after the quarterback admitted to his role in a dog-fighting ring.

Michael Vick
Michael Vick Credit: AP
In October of 2009, when Mr. Vick made his return to the NFL, Nike went out of its way to ensure the public that it was not endorsing the ex-con and new quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Advertising Age reported that Nike released a statement claiming, "Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick." The statement also said: "We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike ."

Neither Nike nor Chicago-based attorney Andrew Stroth, Mr. Vick's marketing agent, would disclose financial terms of the multiyear contract, which was reported earlier by CNBC.

"Michael has acknowledged his past mistakes," Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike said in a statement. "We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field."

Nike will replace Reebok International in April 2012 as the National Football League's official apparel supplier.

Mr. Vick's contract contains a commitment to work with camps and youth programs, said Stroth, who also represents free-agent quarterback Donovan McNabb and guard Dwyane Wade of basketball's Miami Heat in marketing deals.

"Long-term, Michael Vick wants to coach," Mr. Stroth said in a telephone interview. "Michael wants to utilize the platform of playing in the NFL to impact our youth."

Mr. Vick, 31, played the past two NFL seasons with the Eagles after serving time in federal prison on the dog-fighting counts. He spent 2001-06 with the Atlanta Falcons.

Nike called the allegations against Mr. Vick "inhumane and abhorrent" when it cut ties with him in 2007.

Joel Segal, Mr. Vick's agent, said in a telephone interview that his client was "ecstatic" about the new agreement.

Mr. Vick was the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2010.

--Bloomberg News

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