Yo Mike, Get Ready for the Game of Your Life

July 21st, 2007


Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons, one of the true “faces” of the National Football League, is way up the creek at the moment and could be sans paddle very soon.

As most know, Vick is smack in the middle of an illegal dog fighting ring.  What’s worse is that it’s all been happening at his Surry Country, Va. home.  What’s even worse is the incredible acts of inhumane treatment that have been invoked upon what appears to be countless animals.

Before the dogs, Vick spoke on-air with Commissioner Roger Goodell at the NFL draft.  He talked about how he’s grown up, is reformed, etc.  The same old song and dance all waywardly behaved athletes put on.  But hey, it was a well-orchestrated show and sports pundits across the land hailed Vick for “getting his head on straight.”  Then, as mentioned, the dogs showed up.

So that’s the storm.  Now, imagine the hell Vick’s lawyers, agents, handlers, advertisers, sponsors and PR heads are going through.  There’s the federal indictment, the recommended “leave of absence” during legal proceedings (which could wipe out his whole ’07 season), the backers at Nike, EA Sports and Gatorade, and finally, the boatload of bad press.

Our PR recommendation for Vick?  Well, he’s gotten this “far,” it’s time to end the circus – it’s time to validate concern (although it might be too late) and show action.  Showing action is where Vick can right his ship and appease the almighty NFL and its legions.  He should voluntarily take a leave of absence until the case is over.  He should hook up with the Humane Society and donate/volunteer.  He should take action before the powers that be act upon him because the latter will be much more career shattering.  In short, get on the offensive and try to win people back before the hammer comes down.

It’s time to grow up, Mike.  No more giving the finger to fans.  No more secret compartments in water bottles.  No more toting around you lackey “friends” from “back in the day.”  And no more dog fighting – although I don’t think you need a reminder on that.

Posted Under: Crisis Communications, Public Relations
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