The number of people who want to purchase Michael Vick merchandise undoubtedly has tanked in view of the indictment of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback on federal charges related to dogfighting. And, of course, Nike just announced that it has suspended release of the Zoom Vick V shoe, which would have arrived in retail stores in August.
News stories in the last couple of days have revealed that dogfighting is a big — if secretive — business in the United States and elsewhere. Nevertheless, most people are outraged at the “sport.”
And so, I wondered what is available from the world of retail that might help animal lovers either express their outrage or their compassion for canines. I found the Web site for WSPA — World Society for the Protection of Animals — which offers several retail items and notes that 15 percent of retail purchases “will go directly to supporting the work that WSPA does for animals all around the world.”
Available are greeting cards, mouse pads, journals, hoodies, jerseys, bags, calendars and more. The organization’s Web site includes a page explaining its commitment to stop organized fights between dogs and bears.
At the Web site for the Humane Society of the United States, dog lovers will find a press release urging Nike to go further than suspending release of the Zoom Vick V shoe. “Nike has not gone far enough by merely suspending the launch of a new athletic shoe named for Michael Vick,” the release reads. “The athletic apparel company needs to go further and halt sales of clothing that calls Vick a ‘hero.’ ”
Two days after his indictment, the release continues, “Nike continued to market a $16 ‘Vick Hero’ tee-shirt to boys in sizes 0 to 18. A similar product is aimed at older youth.”
Also on the Humane Society Web site, consumers can donate “to help end dogfighting.” Here and on the WSPA site are opportunities for retail purchases to make a difference.
Yesterday, I promised more information today on the National Retail Federation’s Back-to-School survey, and I will deliver on that promise, but the Michael Vick story seemed worthy of an interruption in the regular programming at Retail Strategies.