"Whenever you have something that is viscerally offensive, there is pressure on companies to do something," Dezenhall said. "If a company's considered on the cultural cutting edge, like Nike, you might stand by a controversial person just because of street cred."
There's also no reason for companies to rush to dump Vick, Dezenhall added. That could change, however, if consumers are exposed to specific images or videos showing Vick and dogs involved in the blood sport, or if public sentiment against the NFL star becomes overwhelming.
Corporate spokesmen for Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola, meanwhile, distanced themselves from former promotions that featured Vick.
"There's been a lot we've been correcting all day long," said Laurie Guzzinati, a spokeswoman for Kraft, for which Vick did a promotion during the 2005 season that has since ended.
The message was the same at Coca-Cola, where Susan Stribling said the cola giant -- as well as Powerade, the company's sports drink product -- are no longer under contract with Vick, despite the athlete showing logos for both beverages on the official Mike Vick Web site. Stribling said that Coca-Cola was trying to determine who owned the site so the logos could be stripped.