SBD/July 21, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Vick Signs Five-Year Deal With Fuse Science, Continuing Marketing Resurgence

Vick will be one of more than a dozen NFL players endorsing Fuse Science
Eagles QB Michael Vick has signed a five-year deal with Double Eagle Holdings, "parent company of Fuse Science, which has developed an anti-inflammatory topical gel as well as electrolyte and energy drops that are said to replenish and give a jolt to athletes who take them orally,” according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. The EnerJel rub “will hit the company's Web site in the coming month, while the drops, marketed as Power Drops and Energy Drops, are promised later in the Fall.” Fuse Science CEO Adam Adler said that Vick, as well as 16 other NFL players, "will get equity in the company, but that the price to pay" is that it excludes them from other categories. Vick “can't do any other energy or sports drink deals or even endorse a vitamin since the company is also working on delivering nutraceuticals in the drops it will sell” (CNBC.com, 7/20). Vick said, "I thought Fuse was an excellent opportunity, as far as what they bring to the table ... and also bringing in other athletes to endorse the product and make it even bigger than what it can become. So I think we're going to do great things" ("The Call," CNBC, 7/20). 

TROUBLE DOWN ON THE PHARM? In Philadelphia, Marcus Hayes notes Fuse Science “trumpeted an exclusive” deal with Vick, but reports last week indicated that Vick “would hawk products for MusclePharm.” MusclePharm yesterday “issued a news release stating that Vick would receive $1.55 million over the next 3 years.” The company on its website “even posted photos of Vick apparently signing his deal with MusclePharm.” Hayes reports the “folks at Fuse were not amused.” Fuse spokesperson Liza Santana said, "I would say that he is well aware that signing any other deals would be a breach of contract" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 7/21).

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE: YAHOO SPORTS’ Jason Cole wrote it is a "stunning development" that Vick again is a "wanted man in the marketing business.” Earlier this month, Vick re-signed with Nike and reportedly reached an endorsement deal with MusclePharm, and in January he "got back in the promotions business in a smaller way when he signed to help promote a helmet padding system created by Unequal Technologies.” While Vick is “still a long way from being the marketing dynamo he was earlier in his career, what’s happening is at least very surprising to those in the marketing business.” Marketing Evaluations Exec VP Henry Schafer said, “He had a pretty good year on the field and showed he’s on the right track personally, but this kind of improvement usually takes a long time. He still has a long way to go, but his improvement is very significant.” Schafer, whose company produces Q ratings, said that Vick’s “positive number climbed back to 16 after last season and his negative rating dropped to 49.” While the “negative rating is still high, it’s diminishing faster than Schafer expected” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/20).
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