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Michael Vick Reportedly Close to Endorsement Deal with MusclePharm

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick played like an MVP candidate last season, and all the attention he’s drawing from advertisers is the latest indication that he’s making a full-on recovery from his time in prison. He reached a two-year deal with equipment manufacturer Unequal Technologies in January and produced huge dividends for the company. Shortly after it was revealed how strong of a pitchman he remains, other companies decided they wanted in.

Nike brought Vick back in at the beginning of the month. Now, Jason LaCanfora reports that supplement company MusclePharm is close to reaching a deal with him.

Vick’s deal with MusclePharm could be a three-year, $1.55 million deal according to LaCanfora’s report. He says “Vick would also receive $100,000 in MusclePharm stock per year and the first two years would include $200,000 in base compensation, and $250,000 in the third year.”

He also stands to make at least a $25,000 bonus for Pro Bowl and playoff appearances.

Between his salary for the upcoming season and the endorsement deals, Vick is coming close to regaining the status he had prior to getting busted for the dogfighting ring. I never thought Vick would be able to repay his creditors much less have the success he’s having on and off the field. Now the challenge will be making sure he doesn’t fall back into poor patterns of behavior with everyone loving him again.

Nike Signs Michael Vick to a Deal, Makes Very Wise Business Decision

Roughly four years ago, Michael Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and gambling charges.  At the time, we wondered if his career would be over.  Many believed Vick would never rejoin the NFL as a starting quarterback, but that some team would likely give him a shot at securing a roster spot.  The Eagles volunteered to be that team and Vick has rewarded them.

In the course of two seasons, Vick went from backup quarterback and wildcat specialist to nearly winning an NFL MVP award.  He overcame the burden of being a hated celebrity — a burden that was well-deserved — and reemerged as a top-flight NFL starter.  As his popularity once again rose, Vick secured endorsement deals and remained an excellent pitchman for sports companies.  It was only a matter of time before the big guns jumped back aboard.

On Friday, Darren Rovell broke the news that Vick has re-signed with Nike.  While there will certainly be backlash and plenty of people who accuse Nike of forgiving a criminal too quickly, the move is sure to be a home run from a business standpoint.  Kids still want to be like Michael Vick.  He’s the new generation quarterback that all young athletes aspire to be, regardless of his troubles off the field.  Sure, there will be parents who won’t allow their kids to purchase Michael Vick gear, but there will be plenty of others who turn their cheek and plenty of teenagers who don’t give a damn.

If Nike waited too long to re-sign Vick, someone else would have swooped in.  Whether you believe in second chances or not, there’s no denying Vick’s post-prison life is coming full circle.  H/T to Pro Football Talk for the story.

NBA.com Working to Eliminate Pictures and Videos of Players from Team Websites

The NBA just had one of its most successful seasons of the new millennium. Ratings were sky-high, fan interest spiked, and everyone seemed to take enjoyment in bashing the big villains of the basketball world — the Miami Heat. So what do you do to follow up such a great season? You cue up a lockout as your encore if you’re David Stern.

Though the NBA has many wage and salary cap issues to address in its CBA discussions, there is another problem on its hands. According to a story by Kevin Arnovitz at True Hoop, NBA.com and all the team websites affiliated with it are scrambling to prepare for the lockout. These details are enough to make any programmer go mad:

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Sacramento Kings Really Playing Up the Jimmer Fredette Angle, as Expected

Most people figured that the team that drafted Jimmer Fredette was doing so for marketing purposes more than anything else. Alex Kennedy at HoopsWorld put it perfectly on twitter saying “When owners see Jimmer, they see a big-name player who generates interest and money. When management sees him, they see a tough transition.” Keeping that in mind, and recognizing that Jimmer is the biggest name in the draft, the team in arguably the worst financial situation in the NBA decided to select him. And like Patrick Crawley pointed out in his draft recap (which you should definitely check out), the Kings are already playing up the Jimmer angle as much as you could expect. Check out the splash page they created specifically to promote him:

This really shouldn’t surprise us when you look at Sacramento’s financial situation. They need to sell tickets to raise money so they can keep the franchise in Sacramento. The question is if drafting Jimmer will help them do that. Sure he’s a recognizable name who fans may want to see, but if he’s not that good, how long will that last? Generally fans want to see a winner rather than an exciting player on a bad team (unless it’s Blake Griffin). If Jimmer proves to be a bust, then this will be viewed as a quick fix that didn’t work out.

By comparison, other teams marketed their newcomers fairly equally. The Utah Jazz featured both their top two picks on their website. The same is true of the Bobcats. Even the Cavaliers featured both of their top two guys on their website. Here are all the other splash pages for comparison:

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DirecTV Won’t Charge NFL Sunday Ticket Subscribers Until Games Are Played

Around this time of year, DirecTV customers who subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket begin getting charged their customary $50 per month over the next half year. What does that mean? Our TV bills begin to resemble that of a rent check for a one-bedroom apartment in the Midwest.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but we’re sports fans and we love our football, so they have us by the schnuts. The good news is DirecTV decided to surprise fans with something positive for a bleeping change. Check out this email they sent out to Sunday Ticket subscribers Thursday:

I have my doubts that my bill will be adjusted accordingly if games are missed because that’s pretty ambiguous language. You can’t put a price tag on games lost. You take away one NFL game from us, you may as well be taking away our season. Got that, DirecTV? One game missed, I want ALL my money back mmmm k?

On the real, DirecTV shouldn’t be celebrated for this; why should we get charged for a product we’re not receiving? The only reason we’re ecstatic is because we’re conditioned to associate anything DirecTV-related with bad news and large fees. I’d prefer not to hear from DirecTV unless they plan on lowering my bill, not keeping it status quo.

Hard Salary Cap Could Make Big Three Unaffordable for Miami Heat

When the Miami Heat’s Bermuda Triangle formed over the summer, skeptics overlooked that the team was going to have two of arguably the top five players in the League and found several reasons to doubt them. Would their egos be too big to work together? Do they have enough size? Who would take the final shot (ignoring that they probably wouldn’t need a “last shot” to win games)? Will they have enough money left to fill the rest of their team? Some of those arguments had validity, and I still have my doubts that Chris Bosh will remain happy as the team’s third option for the duration of his contract. But another concern was whispered then and remains an issue now.

When the NBA addresses its labor situation, what happens if a hard salary cap is implemented?

David Stern ruined the Heat orgy in Miami by letting out that loud fart prior to Game 1 of the Finals. The NBA currently employs a soft salary cap that many teams go over. The ones that go over pay a luxury tax, but that option would be eliminated if a hard cap were implemented. Currently the cap is around $58 million, but it could drop significantly if a hard cap were introduced.

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Chris Webber and Filipino Manny V. Pangilinan Could Team up to Buy Kings

Though it appeared to be a certainty that the Kings would move from Sacramento to Anaheim, the city was awarded an extra year to hold onto the team. There was a check list of items the NBA advised the city to fulfill in order to keep the franchise long-term, and the most important requirement was to build a new arena. It will be difficult for the cash-strapped current owners, the Maloofs, to hang on to the team, so there is room for new ownership. One potential group of owners is led by Chris Webber and would be backed by Filipino businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, according to the Inquirer.

The Inquirer, which is a Filipino news source, says “Webber met with Pangilinan, chair of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company—among other firms—during a recent trip to Sacramento, where he visited the Kings’ home stadium, the Arco Arena.”

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