You’ll recall yesterday that we passed along the announcement from the SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL’s “Sports Sponsorship Symposium” that Michael Vick had reached an endorsement deal from Nike. It was a bit of a shock, all things considered, but it’s not the first time Nike’s given one of their athletes a second chance after a PR disaster (see Bryant, Kobe).
But yes, about that. Nike’s spokesperson, Kejuan Williams, decided to clear this morning. According to Darren Rovell at CNBC, Williams and Nike declared unequivocally that Vick, in fact, has no endorsement contract with Nike.
So where did the snafu come from?
Well, for one, the announcement at the SSS didn’t come from Nike, but from Vick’s representation at BEST. And while Mike Principe (the managing director of BEST) wasn’t necessarily lying, he was taking advantage of a little ambiguity in the definition of the word “deal”:
“Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick,” Nike spokesman Kejuan Wilkins said, in a statement. “We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”
This, of course, isn’t the worst situation in the world for Vick. Clearly, he’s got baby steps to take before diving back into a big Nike contract (for example, he may want to start a game or two).