Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Lack Of Accountability

Yesterday a story circulated that Mike Vick had signed a new endorsement deal with Nike. This set off all kinds of hand wringing in the sports media.

Here is how Pro Football Talk characterized it in one of their posts last night:

We were stunned -- as were many of you -- by the news that Nike has decided to enter into a new shoe and apparel deal with Eagles quarterback Mike Vick.

Nike previously had a wide-ranging arrangement with Vick, which came to an end not long after he was indicted on federal dogfighting and gambling charges in 2007.

Making the news even more eyebrow-raising is the fact that, in the current economy, shoe deals aren't nearly as plentiful as they used to be.

Indeed, even T.O. doesn't have a shoe deal.

Words like "stunned" and "eyebrow-raising" served to give the impression that this "deal" for Vick was somewhat unprecedented.

Then came word today from CNBC that there was no "deal" between Nike and Vick.

A day after an official with the agency that represents Michael Vick told a crowded conference in New York City that Vick had recently re-signed with Nike [NKE 63.99 -0.71 (-1.1%) ], a Nike spokesman told CNBC that the company has no agreement with the backup Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

“Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick," Nike spokesman Kejuan Wilkins said, in a statement. "We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike.”

Somebody has some 'splainin to do!

Going back over to Pro Football Talk here is what they had to say about this new revelation:

The purpose of the ruse is obvious. Principe and Segal, buoyed by the lack of criticism and/or outcry regarding Vick as he embarks on the second phase of his career, opted to take a liberty with reality, presumably in the hopes that the vague suggestion that Nike has re-embraced Vick might prompt other potential endorsers to follow suit.

But they didn't count on the negative reaction to the impression that Nike was paying Vick in an economic environment where shoe deals have become scarce. And so Nike, which might have initially agreed to stay silent in response to whatever Vick's camp said about the situation, needed to set the record straight.

Bottom line? Vick's camp needs to continue to urge Mike to remain humble. The apparent fact that his arrangement with Nike was deliberately distorted by those around him makes us wonder how hard he's pressing them behind the scenes to shake the trees that previously dropped cash-filled apples onto his feet.


I guess they told Joel Seagal and Mike Principe off for their sneaky ways!

But wait, what exactly was it that Seagal and Principe said anyway to pull off such an elaborate ruse?

"Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again," Vick's agent Joel Segal said.

Wait, is that seriously all he said? Where are the boasts about a big endorsement deal or some serious cash being thrown Vick's way? You mean to tell me that this whole story was concocted based on Vick's agent saying he is a "part of the Nike team again"?!

That's pretty thin if you ask me.

And you know who agreed with me, at least at first, yesterday?

Why Pro Football Talk, that's who.

Segal wouldn't discuss the terms, per the agreement between Vick and the shoe company. Vick will wear Nike shoes and apparel. (Perhaps that's all it amounts to.) Now we are hardly sports business experts, but there are "endorsement" deals with players of all statures, even backup/Wildcat quarterbacks

Sooooooooooooo to recap, when the story was first reported straight PFT didn't think much of it. They rightly noted that it was likely that Vick's "deal" wasn't a big deal at all. But some how some way as the day progressed, even though no new information came out, the story turned into this ginormous, unprecedented deal Vick was getting. And then today when CNBC basically confirms that Vick's deal is what PFT first opined that it might have been, instead of pointing the fingers at themselves for blowing up a non story based on nothing, PFT starts pointing fingers at Principe and Seagal.


And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why nobody trusts the media anymore. When you don't have the capacity to admit you are wrong then you lose all credibility with most folks. Everyone makes mistakes, that is not really the issue, but denying it when you make those mistakes shows your dishonesty. And that leads to questions about what else you might be dishonest about.

This isn't meant to be a shot just at PFT because surely they aren't the only ones today patting themselves on the back for debunkinga story that was largely of their own making. But this is just the latest example of this kind of thing happening.

Something about that media culture needs to change and fast or people will just start turning away from all of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment