In professional sports, it is common for a star athlete to lose many lucrative endorsement deals after getting into legal trouble, especially if the charges involve sensitive matters like violent crime or sexual abuse. However, it is also possible for a disgraced athlete to get a second chance from corporate America, if they are able to put the criminal case behind them -- and begin performing on the field again.
It appears that running back Adrian Peterson is on the path toward regaining his status as a prominent product endorser after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges in 2014 related to beatings his administered one of his children. Now, more than a year after Nike suspended its contract with Peterson, the star athlete has signed a new shoe deal with Adidas, according to ESPN.
Peterson’s legal troubles are over, though it is unclear whether all fans have forgiven him for his treatment of his young son. However, the fact that Peterson was leading the NFL in rushing as of Oct. 15 may have influenced Adidas’ decision to do business with Peterson.
Besides Nike, the child abuse scandal cost Peterson a deal with Castrol. In addition, Radisson cancelled its endorsement deal with the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson’s team. Peterson, who was suspended for all but one game last season, reportedly told the NFL he lost $4 million in endorsement deals.
Peterson himself said he was focused on football, not endorsements. But he admitted he would like to shoot a commercial or two.
Whether or not Peterson has truly redeemed himself may be a matter of opinion, but it is unlikely Adidas would sign him to an endorsement contract if the company did not believe his name would sell products.