SBD/September 5, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Listen To This: Michael Phelps Signs Multiyear Deal With Headphone Company Sol Republic

Sol Republic is selling headphones that Phelps wore during the Olympics on eBay
Michael Phelps has signed a multiyear endorsement deal with the headphone company Sol Republic. Phelps wore Sol Republic headphones on the pool deck before swimming at the U.S. Olympic Trials and the London Games. Financial terms of the agreement were not available. Sol Republic plans to release a Phelps-inspired headphone that the Olympian will promote. The company also is selling headphones Phelps wore in the Olympic Trials and Olympics on eBay. Proceeds from those eBay sales will benefit the Michael Phelps Foundation. Sol Republic also has an endorsement deal with pro surfer Julian Wilson. Like Wilson, Phelps will be considered a member of Sol Republic’s “Saviors of Sound,” a group that includes DJs and indie rock bands that the headphone company has partnered with. Phelps’ agent Peter Carlisle, head of Octagon’s Olympic & Action Sports division, said that talks with Sol Republic began earlier this year. Phelps met with Sol Republic’s founders prior to the Olympics and connected with the founders because he listens to a lot of the DJs that Sol Republic works with. Carlisle said, “He wants to be marketed with these guys. The way they do it he thinks is pretty cool.” It is the second Phelps deal that has been announced since the Olympics. He also signed an agreement with Louis Vuitton. Carlisle said he continues to work on deals in the beverage and golf categories for Phelps (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). ESPN.com's Darren Rovell reported by wearing the headphones on the pool deck, Phelps "garnered great exposure for the brand, until the last few races" when the IOC forced him to "cover up the name with tape." Phelps wore Bose headphones at the '04 Athens Games and white Apple headphones during the '08 Beijing Games, but he "never signed a deal with those companies" (ESPN.com, 9/4).
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