In the highly competitive world of sports marketing, companies have to guard their brands very carefully. So even superstars Ray Lewis and Kobe Bryant (who were eventually cleared of the allegations against them) ended up waiting months for a sponsorship opportunity.
But it has always been true that marketers are less concerned with the issue itself than with the public perception of the issue. And in Michael Vick’s case, public perception can be quantified by the hundreds of donated #7 Nike jerseys now used by the Humane Society to clean cages.
Although Nike (Vick’s largest sponsor) has delayed the release of the new Air Zoom Vick V shoe, they have not yet announced whether or not they will leave him.