Michael Vick Indictment No Problem For Shoe Release (update)
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
When Michael Vick's latest Nike shoe hits the warehouses at Dick's Sporting Goods in a couple weeks, they aren't going into the trash or back to Nike, as a result of the quarterback's recent indictment.The Vick V shoe, which retails for $100, will go out on shelves as scheduled on Aug. 23, the company's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told me this afternoon.
"What’s going on with Michael Vick doesn’t change our merchandising marketing plan," Hennion said. "The shoe is obviously a small component of the overall marketing initiative with Nike."
Sources told CNBC that Dick's co-branded football campaign with Nike, will star Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, but that Vick was offered to Dick's to fill the spot more than six months ago. Hennion confirmed the company had chosen Polamalu, but wouldn't comment on the information that Vick was an option.
Nike likely doesn't have the right to unilaterally sever its contract with Vick without penalty since morals clauses usually require conviction.
What's my take on what Nike should do?Well, they're not saying much about the Vick indictment as I pointed out at the end of my blog post last night. But I say keep the shoes in stores. More of a deal will be made out of all this if you pull them and try to make a statement. Let's be honest here, it's not one of the top selling shoes. Just let them sell on their own very quietly and never put Vick on another shoe again.
Also on Vick, I've received several e-mails over the last couple hours on what all the other companies are going to do with their endorsements. Not sure if reporters are just being lazy, but Vick isn't an Electronic Arts cover anymore. He no longer has a deal with Kraft . He hasn't been a Powerade/Coca-Cola spokesman since 2004. Nike is really the only major one standing.
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