America loves a winner with a redemption story. Well, at least marketers think they do. That would explain how Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Michael Vick, who spent nearly two years in prison for his part in an interstate dog-fighting ring, has managed to get another endorsement deal.
His hometown Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Vick, treated like a complete pariah when he was released from jail two years ago, has added to his post-prison endorsement deals by signing a new contract this week with a nutritional-supplement company, Fuse Science.
As part of the deal, the parent company of Fuse, Double Eagle Holdings Ltd., has a new equity partner. You guessed it: Vick.
"He's a changed man," Fuse Science CEO Adam Adler told the Associated Press.
"As part of that change, he's becoming a businessman and not just a football player. He's the hungriest athlete. He's the best athlete in any sport, and it was a no-brainer to bring Michael in and build around him."
Vick saw a number of endorsement deals disappear in 2007 when he was convicted. One of them was Nike, which re-signed Vick earlier this month. His first endorsement since leaving prison was signed this past January with a football-pad manufacturer, Unequal Technologies.
He had a fine season in 2009 but set himself apart in 2010, leading the Eagles to be tops in their division. He took home AP Comeback Player of the Year honors.
This week, Vick lent his name to another campaign, supporting the Humane Society of the United States by asking Congress to pass a bill that would penalize spectators of animal fights, legislation inspired by — you guessed it — Michael Vick.