Michael Vick is having a great week, much to the chagrin of animal lovers.
Last Sunday, he was named Subway Sportsman of the Year at the BET awards, prompting a major backlash.
Today it was announced that Nike is welcoming Vick back with an endorsement deal.
After Vick spent 19 months in federal prison and two months under house arrest, the Philadelphia Eagles picked him up as their new quarterback for the 2009-10 season.
Despite his comeback, Nike refused to endorse the athlete then, issuing the following statement: “Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick. We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”
The company has apparently had a change of heart.
“Michael has acknowledged his past mistakes,” a Nike representative stated. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
The financial value of the endorsement deal has not been disclosed. According to Andrew Stroth, Vick’s marketing agent, the contract stipulates that Vick must commit to working with camps and youth programs for the duration of his relationship with Nike.
Vick’s agent, Joel Segal, said that his client was “ecstatic” over the new contract. However, many animal lovers are significantly less pleased, and are calling for a boycott of Nike and its subsidiary brands.
To contact Nike, call 1-800-344-6453 (choose option 5 and then option 9) or write to Nike, Inc., One Bowerman Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005.
PHOTO: Ed Yourdon