Nike announced today that the brand is re-signing Michael Vick for an endorsement deal after having dropped him in 2007 following his involvement in a dogfighting ring. As you likely recall, Vick spent 21 months in jail and returned to the NFL as a Philadelphia Eagle shortly thereafter. He had a phenomenal season in 2010 and has become one of the league’s most exciting players yet again. Despite some detractors and animal lovers (holding my tongue on the racial implications of it all, just for today) who felt that Vick should be banished from pro-sports forever, fans made his jersey the number six highest-seller last year.
Vick’s new deal with Nike isn’t his only post-prison endorsement; CBS Sports reports that Unequal Technologies, maker of protective sports gear, signed a two year contract with Vick in January. Shortly thereafter, he was tapped by Core Synergy to market titanium-infused, silicone wristbands. Nike spokesperson Derek Kent said “Michael acknowledges his past mistakes. We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”