NFL and cultural legend Michael Vick might not be returning to the gridiron, but he is lending his experience to an athletic management firm Levels Sports Group. On Tuesday, the company announced that the former No. 1 recruit is joining as head of athletic development.
Can you imagine having Mike Vick as a big homie?
Well, his new clients don’t have to dream, as Vick is joining as a partner in the organization.
Michael Vick will be joining NIL management company Levels Sports as a partner and head of athlete development pic.twitter.com/mizWNanVvk
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) June 8, 2022
Mike The Manager
“I could not be more excited to partner with Levels and work with the talented athletes on their roster,” said Vick in a statement. “As someone who has had success at the highest level of football, I am looking forward to mentoring guys like DJ, Malachi, and Makai and helping them get to wherever they want their football and professional careers to go.”
Vick is being positioned to help grow the firm’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) business. As one of the most marketed NFL players in history when active, Vick has unique insight and cachet that can help mold younger athletes.
Vick will “assist with the mental and physical development and preparation of select Levels talent while using his knowledge and experience to discuss how athletes can monetize themselves safely through the new NIL laws,” according to the firm.
Michael Vick has joined @levels_sports as Head of Athlete Development.
Vick will work with clients on mental and physical preparation on the field, as well as ways to monetize themselves through NIL opportunities.
— Sports Business Journal (@SBJ) June 7, 2022
Vick’s purview includes “mentoring the company’s youthful roster of quarterbacks.” Level Sports Group has a lineup that includes four-star and five-star recruits like Malachi Nelson (quarterback), Makai Lemon (receiver), who are USC commits, and University of Oregon wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas. In addition, Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is in the Levels stable.
Uiagalelei has amassed the most wealth and deals of Michael Vick’s new clients in the NIL era, according to On3 NIL with partnerships with Dr. Pepper and Bojangles with a valuation of $420,000.
Vick has the pick of the recruitment litter, with Malachi Nelson being the No. 2 nationally ranked quarterback, and Makai Lemon the No. 1-ranked athlete in the 2023 football recruiting class, according to reports.
“We have recently seen the limitless opportunities of NIL for young athletes in the college and high school athlete space,” Levels co-founder Justin Giangrande said in a statement.
“It was clear to me that Mike wanted to share his knowledge and experience with our talent as our goal is to help them navigate this ever changing space properly. Mike wants to ensure our athletes are making the best business decisions currently while simultaneously setting them up for long-term success.”
Now in the NIL space: Michael Vick.@MichaelVick is joining Levels Sports Group as the Head of Athlete Development. He'll mentor young stars including:
➖ DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
➖ Malachi Nelson, USC QB Commit
➖ Makai Lemon, #1 2023 Recruit
➖ Oregon legend De'Anthony Thomas pic.twitter.com/iDup6ktAxL
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 7, 2022
Who Better Than Vick?
Vick was a collegiate football legend at Virginia Tech from 1998 to 2000 before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft, selected by the Falcons. NIL deals were not in existence when Vick played; still, the legendary quarterback understands the opportunities in front of these athletes and now has the chance to mentor and assist their decision-making and brand awareness.
Vick last played in the NFL back in 2015 as a backup quarterback for the Steelers. The first six years of his career were spent in Atlanta before he was suspended for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
He spent two years in prison for his involvement in illegal dogfighting, returning to NFL action in 2009 to the Eagles and winning the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award the following year.
Hanging Up The Cleats
Recently rumors swirled that Vick might make a comeback into the Fan Controlled Football League, but he stopped all speculation with a tweet.
“I hung ’em up in 2015, never to return again,” Vick tweeted. “Had an amazing time and accomplished so much. I say that to say they’re going to stay hung up, and I will not be coming out of retirement.
“I appreciate the opportunity to play but I’d rather put my executive hat on with the little ownership that I have!”