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Takeaway: It's been a big year for the "Morals Clause" in athlete endorsements.

NKE - Nike, Target Pull Adrian Peterson NFL Merchandise

  • "As the National Football League continues to regroup in the wake of the domestic violence controversy, a few key sponsors have somewhat distanced themselves from the league."
  • "Nike suspended its endorsement deal with Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson, who is facing child-abuse charges, and Target has pulled Peterson merchandise from its stores and Web site."

10-Second Takeaway: Nike's Come a Long Way Since the Tonya Harding Fiasco - a22

10 second Hedgeye Retail Takeaway

This year is definitely setting a record for the number of athlete endorsements being pulled due to violation of the 'Morals Clause.' This is basically the brand's Get Out of Jail Free card. In some instances (like with Tiger Woods or Kobe Bryant) the brands will simply renegotiate the deals and make payout based upon winning percentage, on-field performance, or dollars associated with a specific product line.

Bottom line: The industry has come a long way since 1994 when Nike not only stuck by disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding after her boyfriend bashed Nancy Kerrigan's kneecaps, but also paid all of her legal bills. 

10-Second Takeaway: Nike's Come a Long Way Since the Tonya Harding Fiasco - 23