Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Michael Vick Protest Brings "Dog Day Afternoon"

Long Beach Armada

The minor league baseball independent Long Beach Armada is hosting "Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day" on Sunday.Any fan who trades in his or her Michael Vick T-shirt or jersey will get free admission to the game and a donation will be made in their name to a non-profit that helps "inspire a better understanding of dogs." Those shirts and jerseys will be destroyed in some manner, the team says. Fans can also bring their dogs to the game, will be provided a special entrance to the ballpark and sit in a special section of the ballpark. Fans who bring in pet toys, treats and cleaning supplies will receive a free ticket to a future Armada game.

Expect more minor league teams to get in on creative Michael Vick days and get a ride off the publicity.

No Vick At Dick's
Sources tell me that on Monday, Dick's Sporting Goods officials told everyone managing its 268 stores to pull everything with Michael Vick's name on it. Rumor of the pulling of the items were first reported by Pro Football Talk over the weekend. Dick's is now no longer selling Vick No. 7 jerseys and has pulled Air Zoom Vick IV detachable cleat, which sells for $84.99 and has been on store shelves since May. Dick's officials would not publicly comment on their actions. Last year, in light of the Duke lacrosse scandal, Dick's pulled Duke lacrosse merchandise off the shelves of five of its stores in the Raleigh-Durham area after receiving customer complaints.

Last week, Nike announced that it was suspending the release of Vick's new cross trainer shoe. The Air Zoom Vick V was scheduled to hit stores on August 23. Sources told me that Nike is holding back about 30,000 pairs of the shoes, which are worth $1.5 million to brand. According to The Oregonian, Nike pulled Vick merchandise from its Web site.  If I were Nike, I'd pay Vick as much as I have to to get out of the contract right now and announce to the world that the company has severed its relationship with Vick. He will never be able to be used again, so there's no point in keeping him around.

The Charity of Ookie
NFL fans who want to go to NFLShopand try to put Michael Vick's nickname "Ookie," which is on the dogfighting indictment, on the back of their jersey, will be rejected. But that might not stunt the popularity of another "Ookie." Baby Emporio LLC makes a doll called Ookie-- "described as a cuddly mom and baby bonding doll." If more people buy Ookie's because of the scandal, they'll actually be helping out dogs. Baby Emporio owner Clasina Valkenberg sent an e-mail to us that she is donating 10 percent of all Ookie's prfoits through Sept. 30 to the Humane Society. "Turning attention away from Michael Vick and focusing attention on ending these cruel dog fights is what we want to do now," Valkenberg wrote. "Our Ookie is positive for babies and animals." Valkenberg said she rescued her two Weimaraner dogs.

Vick Still Popular On eBay
Although the number of Michael Vick items sold on eBay this past week remained consistent with his weekly average, the number of bids on items soared this week, with each Vick item getting an average of 4.55 bids, according to eBay research. The most bids per Vick item prior to that, over the last three months, was the week of May 23-29 when each Vick item received 1.75 bids.

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