NEW YORK -- Michael Vick is back with Nike more than two years after the company severed ties over the quarterback's involvement in a dogfighting ring.
The managing director of the agency that represents Vick announced the deal Wednesday while participating on a panel at the Sports Sponsorship Symposium. Michael Principe of BEST referred questions to Vick's agent, Joel Segal, who said:
"Mike has a longstanding great relationship with Nike and he looks forward to continue in that relationship."
Segal would not reveal terms of the agreement.
"Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again," Segal said.
The deal is the latest step forward for Vick as he seeks to rehabilitate his career and his image after serving 18 months in federal prison. On Sunday, Vick played his first regular-season game since December 2006.
The former Atlanta Falcons star signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 13. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave him his full reinstatement Sept. 3, saying he could return to the field in Week 3.
Vick participated in 11 plays, accounting for 30 total yards, in the Eagles' 34-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, as Philadelphia tries to use him in a variety of ways as a backup.
Nike, which signed Vick as a rookie in 2001, terminated his contract in August 2007 after he filed a plea agreement admitting his involvement in the dogfighting ring.
Vick agreed to a $1.6 million deal with the Eagles, with a team option for the second year at $5.2 million. The club has received little backlash -- protests have been limited, and the Eagles' sponsors have stood by them. That experience could make companies less wary about adding Vick as an endorser, though the biggest determinant may be no different from any other athlete: how well he performs on the field.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
Time to nut up or shut up.