Nike wanted to make this clear yesterday: The company is supplying Michael Vick with shoes and gear and apparel, nothing more.
"Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick," Nike said in a statement yesterday. "We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike."
Of course, the Eagles quarterback is not like other athletes. His Nike shoes will get attention whether he is paid or not.
When he was with the Atlanta Falcons, Nike paid him millions to endorse its products and put his name on signature shoes. The company cut its ties to him in 2007, when Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges and went to prison for 18 months. Nike reportedly had manufactured 30,000 Vick V shoes and dropped the shoe before distribution, costing it a reported $1.5 million.
On Wednesday, Michael Principe, the managing director of BEST, the agency that represents the quarterback, announced that Vick had a new deal with Nike during a panel discussion at the Sports Sponsorship Symposium in New York.
"He actually just became a Nike client," Principe said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. "He has a new deal with Nike that we're all very pleased about."
Reached later on Wednesday, Vick's agent, Joel Segal, declined to give any particulars, saying, "he's had a long-standing relationship with Nike. He is looking forward to working with Nike now and in the future."