Nike announced it has welcomed back NFL superstar Michael Vick to its roster of celebrity endorsers. Vick, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, spent almost two years in federal prison on a conviction related to dogfighting.
During that case, Vick became highly unpopular and lost his $2 million endorsement deal with Nike in 2007. The sports apparel company even suspended the release of the Zoom Vick V sneakers.
But, now, they're back in business.
"Michael acknowledges his past mistakes," Megan Saalfeld, a Nike spokeswoman, said in an email to CNN. "We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field."
CNBC, which first reported the story, reports this might be the first time in sports marketing that a brand drops a player only to re-sign them. Vick, CNBC adds, has slowly rehabilitated his image. First with a 2009 interview with 60 Minutes, then by volunteering on animal abuse outreach.
Vick also had a stellar 2010 season that got him into the Pro Bowl. Even President Obama had his say on Vick. Back in December, the president said Vick served his time and should get a second chance.
The terms of the Nike deal were not made public but Vick's agent Joel Segal told NFL.com that "Michael is excited to have a long-term and strong relationship with Nike."