Competing nutrition firms both touting Vick as their new spokesman

Posted: July 21, 2011

Michael Vick might be "Powered by Fuse," as the company's motto goes, but his re-entry into the endorsement game could be short-circuited.

Nothing concerning the infamous Eagles' quarterback is uncomplicated.

Yesterday, two sports nutrition companies issued statements that said Vick would represent their products.

Fuse Science, based in Miami, trumpeted an exclusive, 5-year deal with Vick, financial terms withheld.

One problem: Exclusive indicates Vick cannot have a deal with any similar company.

Last week, reports surfaced that Vick would hawk products for MusclePharm, an unwisely named company based in Denver. Indeed, MusclePharm yesterday issued a news release stating that Vick would receive $1.55 million over the next 3 years.

On its website, MusclePharm even posted photos of Vick apparently signing his deal with MusclePharm.

The folks at Fuse were not amused.

"That was all speculation," Liza Santana, a Fuse spokeswoman, said via email. "Michael's contract with . . . Fuse is a 5-year exclusive and was fully executed on July 7th."

Santana elaborated:

"I would say that he is well aware that signing any other deals would be a breach of contract."

Is he aware?

Multiple calls to Vick's attorney, Andrew Stroth, were not returned.

Mutiple calls to MusclePharm's representative were not returned.

Santana's "speculation" assertion implies that Fuse knew of Vick's negotiations with Muscle-Pharm and, perhaps, that there never was a finalized deal with MusclePharm.

Significantly, Vick is not quoted in the MusclePharm release. However, he went on Twitter to tout his arrangement. "I am very excited about working with @MusclePharm one of the hottest supplement companies on the market, and to b part of a strong roster." He also tweeted that he was taking part in a photo shoot for the company.

(However, in the release, company CEO Brad Pyatt pre-emptively, and perhaps unnecessarily, asserts his own love for dogs; Vick is 2 years removed from his prison term for dogfighting.)

Vick did offer a testimonial for the Fuse release:

"I believe these products will revolutionize how athletes provide their bodies with nutrients and medicines, changing what we have come to accept as normal. Why take a painkiller and wait 30 to 40 minutes for it to work, when a better product can work in one-tenth the time?"

Certainly, that quote indicates a conscious allegiance with Fuse and its cadre of alchemists.

Unlike MusclePharm, Fuse did not address Vick's association with dogfighting and animal torture.

Assuming Vick has a real deal with at least one of the sports nutrition companies, it would be his second significant deal since re-entering the NFL in 2009 with the Eagles after missing two seasons because of the dogfighting conviction.

Vick's first endorsement deal, announced earlier this month, was with Nike . . . assuming he already doesn't have a deal with adidas.

Fuse also indicated Vick is the first of several athletes who will be coming aboard to shill for their potions.

That is, as long as they don't stop by the MusclePharm first. *

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