Michael Vick, The Face Of A Brand, Is Indicted. What Now?

Here in Atlanta, it’s the biggest story going:
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Michael Vick’s indictment for allegedly running a dog-fighting operation is the talk of the town. Why? Because he’s the $130 million man for the Falcons. The face of the franchise. And he’s equally loved and hated around here. He’s put butts into seats, brought excitement to a team that never had much, but hasn’t quite lived up to his potential.
And now all this.
He’s innocent until proven guilty. But Michael Vick’s endorsement deals are fading away. And if you’re the Atlanta Falcons, do you take a wait and see attitude or do you cut him loose?
Either way, the team’s brand takes a hit. If they suspend or release Vick, the fans that go to games just to see him may stop going and revenue falls. Or if he stays, lots of folks may boycott the Falcons in protest. If you were in the Falcons MARKETING department, what would you want to see happen here?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    If I was the team’s marketing director, I’d work to convince Mr. Vick to donate half his 2007 salary to the SPCA.

  • chidog

    They can’t cut him until he’s convicted. But I think Arthur Blank has to tell him, you’ve got bigger things than football to deal with. Until they’re dealt with, I’ll pay you, but I won’t play you.

  • Brendon

    When you find out that one of your products is tainted, you yank it from the shelf.
    I agree with chidog. Encourage Vick to take a paid leave of absence while the legal system runs its course. There is no way that Vick will be an effective quarterback or teammate while this proceeds in court.
    If left to remain on the playing field, he will cause nothing but a major distraction to the team and organization.
    I feel that Michael Vick has taken his last snap as a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons…

  • M. A. George

    For crying out loud–let’s think about the real crime here–the heartless cruelty to animals helpless against it. What kind of man would do what was done to these dogs? If I met such a man coming down the street, I would run in the opposite direction. Such men should be shunned and ostracized socially, personally, and professionally. Monsters. Simply monsters.

  • roy a. hamer

    In a recent Sports Illustrated article it was reported that a number of NFL players get off on raising pit bulls to fight just to add to the “macho” image. If commishoner Goodell really is intent on stopping this type of horror for real then he should call for an investigation of the entire league. There’s no excuse for this to go on!!!!!

  • Jason Wright

    Doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen, but apparently the NFL agrees with us, Brendon.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2943276

  • http://multicultclassics.blogspot.com HighJive

    Huh? Are you guys familiar with professional sports? There are probably at least a dozen NFL teams that would sign Vick right now. The Cleveland Browns could pick him up and do a promotional event with The Dawg Pound. Still not convinced Ray Lewis is “innocent.” The Chicago Bears were playing an athlete facing significant criminal charges last season. Kobe Bryant played through his rape trial. The Duke Lacrosse team was ripped apart and shut down during their rape trial, and now the players will likely sue and/or receive plenty of settlements for the actions. And let’s not forget the Minnesota Vikings’ love boat affair. Even Marv Albert made a comeback after his legal problems. Not saying Vick’s alleged crimes aren’t serious. But our professional sports figures have rarely let the law hamper their game.