PR or Passing Yards?

July 29th, 2009

I will not watch any televised game of a team that signs Michael Vick.

I will not buy a ticket to any game featuring a team that signs Michael Vick.

I will not buy a Michael Vick jersey, t-shirt, hat, keychain or any memorabilia from a team that signs Michael Vick.

Hell, I may never buy Vick’s cough drops ever again.

I’m an animal lover, owner and charity supporter — but that’s not why. I’m human, and I know that every human being makes mistakes. And while I believe in forgiving mistakes, I don’t believe in paying for them, too. That’s why I’ll never give a dime to a team that pays Michael Vick. And I can’t believe I’m alone in that.

There’s no reason to go into how disgusting Michael Vick’s crimes were. They’re repulsive. This is a blog about communication, marketing and the brands that speak to consumers. And as of now, # 7’s brand says “I electrocuted and drowned dogs for my own enjoyment…and to make a few bucks with my friends.” Any team that signs Vick takes on that brand, risking the backlash and boycotts that have followed him for more than two years. That means a loss of licensing dollars, sponsorship revenue and priceless brand equity.

And PETA’s not the only one who’s barking mad over this.  Legions of anti-Vick websites, Facebook groups with tens of thousands of anti-Vick members and online pledges calling for boycotts of any Vick sponsors have literally sprung up overnight.

So, to all you teams who are thinking about taking on this “bargain basement” QB – you better do the math. It’s probably going to cost you a lot more. In this case #7 isn’t a lucky number when it comes to brand equity.

Posted Under: Public Relations
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