Michael Vick’s Comeback From A PR Perspective

Posted: March 10, 2010 in Public Relations Industry Notes

In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had operated over five years. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement. With the loss of his NFL salary and product endorsement deals, combined with previous financial mismanagement, Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008. Falcons owner Arthur Blanke did not want Vick on the Falcons, and after attempts to trade him failed, Vick was released. Not to mention the damage his reputation to both fans and PETA activists leaving his PR team with a very hard task of re-constructing his image.

I think his PR team did a great job of using the public relations theory while Michael Vick was incarcerated. They were about to keep his name lingering in the pubic, by giving status updates about his desire to make a comeback to the NFL. There were even talks of a T.V. show that was in the making that raised quiet a few eyebrows. He also had a great supporting audience in his family and die-hard fans that helped  his comeback. Michael Vick himself started to write letters to his fans also expressing willingness to make a comeback. This not only caught the eyes of his already passionate fans base but the NFL Commissioner Roger Godall. Even Commissioner Godall saw the compassion that still Michael Vick had for the game through multiples examples (e.i. letters, news updates, personal messages, meetings, etc.) This actually led a must earlier reinstatement than what most thought. This has to be a credit to PR team because they did a great job of showing Vick’s sincere regretfulness and  willingness to make the necessary changes to somehow help the situation. Vick was very active in trying to revamp his image through doing PETA commercials, giving to animals programs around the country and keeping a very nice profile since his release.

And as a reward Vick signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.  He earned $1.6 million and played a small role in the there (11-5) season.


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