The League

David Carter
Sports Business Expert

David Carter

Executive Director, USC Sports Business Institute

Time Will Heal

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Throughout sports -- including sport marketing -- time and winning heals most wounds. Fans have consistently demonstrated that they will rally behind their favorite athletes, warts and all. It's not so much about whether a star athlete has character so much as it is that he be a character, whether hero or villain.

Corporations not only know and appreciate this, but keep extremely close tabs on players' "likeability." They watch closely as public outrage to athlete indiscretions wanes, and they re-embrace athletes once they determine that shareholder pushback will be minimal, and public backlash muted. Many thought Kobe Bryant wouldn't recover his marketability; ditto for Ray Lewis - but they are quite marketable, especially to consumer groups who compartmentalize these athletes' performance on the court and field from their personal lives and scrapes with the law.

Many mainstream consumer groups will not purchase the products pitched by controversial, ex-con athletes, while others are less influenced by outrageous and unconscionable acts, including cruelty to animals. A very small subset of consumers even embrace such athletes in an effort to flaunt what they perceive to be their own edginess read: believe to be their rebellious nature. In the end, and over time, this suggests that corporate fits exist for many star athletes -- regardless of how they are viewed by most mainstream consumers.

By David Carter  |  October 2, 2009; 12:01 AM ET  | Category:  Michael Vick Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Vick has time to work on his game. The people who hate him weren't fans to begin with.

I often used Vick's name in the password question when I sign up for a new site. Frequently it reveals not just the ubiquity of cyber-terrorists, but their stupidity too. Site works fine until you secretly reveal that Vick is your favorite athlete.

Were I Vick, I'd never give a dime to an aminal charity.

Rehabilitating homeless men who have been exploited in bum fight videos would be the perfrect chartiy for Mike Vick. "No one went to jail for the crimes committed when these homless drug addicts were paid to violently harm one another on camera..." That's because it's not illegal in America.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 2, 2009 6:30 AM

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