"Just re-do it"? Nike's gamble on Michael Vick

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

NFL star quarterback Michael Vick, who served 21-months in jail for his involvement in a dog fighting ring, has been given a big money endorsement deal by Nike. As you can imagine, not everyone is happy about it.

CBS News correspondent Tony Guida reports that the controversial move was a calculated gamble on the part of Nike, whose motto has always been, "Just do it."

By giving Vick another endorsement deal 4 years after sacking him in the wake of an ugly dog-fighting scandal, Nike proved it likes living on the edge.

"They also love controversy, it keeps them socially current and it makes sense now that he's playing well with the eagles to pick him up again; he's going to sell a lot of shoes," said Barbara Lippert, an advertising expert.

Nike re-signs Vick 4 years after dumping him

He'll also sell jerseys and more, Nike hopes. After 10 years on the sidelines, Nike is back in business with the NFL as the league's exclusive supplier of apparel. This is sufficient reason, apparently, to take a gamble on Vick.

"This story with Michael Vick is unprecedented. It's never been done before and Nike is taking a bit of a risk but there's also a high reward if it works out for them," said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp.

Neither Nike nor Vick will reveal the terms of the deal, but a veteran sports marketing professional told CBS News says he estimates it's a multi-year contract at $1 to 3 million.

Whatever the deal, it represents commercial redemption for Vick, who went to prison for running a dog fighting ring. After the NFL suspended him, Vick was radioactive. But the Philadelphia Eagles signed him on the rebound and he rewarded them last season with a stellar performance.

While some feel he's paid his dues for his crime, the ASPCA disagrees. In a statement, the agency said: "an endorsement deal should also be a measure of an athlete's off-field performance...redemption takes many, many years."

On Friday, Vick was chasing redemption, speaking to children at a football camp in Baltimore, saying his motivation was "doing things different."

Nike's motivation might be "Just re-do it," says advertising expert Barbara Lippert of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Michael Vick: coming soon to an ad campaign near you.

  • Tony Guida

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