|PHOENIX, Arizona, September 5. TODAY, we found out that Michael Phelps' second-favorite accessory, behind his weighty golden Olympic medals, are his headphones. Behind the blocks at the London 2012 Olympics, along with his cap and goggles, Phelps was rarely seen without his Sol Republic headphones.
Phelps unveiled quite the collection of Sol headphones, mixing up the colors and styles each time he stepped behind the blocks. The International Olympic Committee eventually made Phelps cover up the brand with tape, but not before people took notice.
By wearing the headphones, Phelps provided the brand with free, un-endorsed publicity. People began to associate the swimmer with the brand, and Sol Republic decided to take advantage of Phelps' public persona, offering him a sponsorship deal.
"He absolutely loves this brand," his agent Peter Carlisle told ESPN Playbook. "I mean, he was wearing them anyway."
After accepting the endorsement, Phelps said:
Music has always been a big part of my life -- it helps me focus and inspires me for every race. I'm a big fan of SOL REPUBLIC headphones' sound and I like the colors and how you can change them up. I'm excited to partner with SOL REPUBLIC to offer the headphones I wore before every race exclusively on eBay to benefit my Foundation, which helps me to support the next generation of swimmers.
Sol Republic launched its new eBay store this morning, commemorating the occasion with a new line of Phelps-inspired headphones. They will also be auctioning off 21 pairs of autographed Sol headphones, worn by Phelps before his raced in London. All of the proceeds from the online auction go to Phelps' charity, the Michael Phelps Foundation.
Courtesy of: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports