Colin Kaepernick fined $10K for headphones. NFL has a 'Beats' problem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for the pink 'Beats by Dre' brand name headphones he wore after a game last week. Beats' popularity could be a problem for the NFL, since it has a sponsorship deal with Bose.
Santa Clara, Calif.
While Kaepernick has an endorsement deal with Beats and has done a commercial, the league's contract is with Bose. Wearing the pink version for October breast cancer awareness month, Kaepernick knew he could be subject to a fine after the 22-17 win on Sunday.
Kaepernick took to Twitter on Thursday to explain his decision and posted a photo of him with the headphones: "I support breast cancer awareness! My grandma is a survivor!"
He declined to say whether Beats would pick up the cost of his fine, saying, "we'll let that be unanswered."
Featuring athletes has long been one of Beats' primary promotional tactics with athletes like LeBron James routinely seen sporting the pricey headphones during warmups, press conferences, and in ad spots. Kapernick is one of the company's headliners, but Beats headphones are a common sight around the necks NFL players many of whom have their own endorsement deals.
Bose, meanwhile, is trying to avoid future player fines (and more Beats exposure) by shipping headphones and other swag to players en masse, according to ProFootballTalk:
But since many players already owned that competing product, it might have created an enforcement issue at some stage.
Bose is apparently trying to head that off with a shipment of goodies to players.
Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson just tweeted out of picture of a new set of their headphones with the caption “Didn’t have to wait long,” and kicker Graham Gano thanked them for “these awesome headphones.”
The team also sent out a photo saying every player on the roster had a set in their locker this morning.
Assuming Bose made 31 similar deliveries, that’s some expensive product placement.
In early June, Kaepernick — one of the NFL's most dynamic young playcallers — received a $126 million, six-year contract extension that keeps him with the organization through the 2020 season. The deal includes $61 million in guaranteed money.