One of the biggest issues professional athletes face is following rules when it comes to sponsorships. Everyone knows that when athletes represent a mainstream company, their contract agreements state they are not to wear competitor’s clothing, especially if a logo is visible.
The most recent athlete encountering this problem was Robert Griffin III. At the Redskins postgame interviews on Sunday, RG3 was seen wearing an Adidas shirt and was then fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing “unauthorized apparel.”
The worst part about this circumstance is the fact that RG3 has a sponsorship with Adidas. Since the NFL signed a partnership with Nike this past spring, controversy and confusion has risen.
Personally, I believe if a private company sponsors a player, he should be able to wear that company’s logo with pride. Not everyone gets a sponsorship, and if I was getting paid to represent a company by simply wearing their apparel, I would be taking the opportunity too.
This particular violation occurred because the contract between Nike and the NFL states to wear Nike for “on-field apparel including game uniforms and base layer, as well as sideline personnel apparel and fan gear.”
By the picture above, you can clearly tell that RG3 was wearing the appropriate Nike apparel during the game.
Seeing as RG3 normally wears a suit and tie during post-game interviews, he probably didn’t even consider post-game apparel since he was inactive due to a knee injury. If it weren’t for the interview, it is likely that neither Nike nor the NFL would have known that he changed gear.
Not to mention the fact that it is highly unrealistic that Nike would pull their contract with the NFL for one inactive player wearing the wrong gear “too soon” after a game.
I’m not saying to completely void out the NFL’s deal with Nike but post-game apparel items should be reconsidered for the sake of players’ individual sponsorship contracts.
On the positive side for Adidas, it doesn’t look like the NFL even took the time to consider that fact that Adidas received more media attention and advertising time by fining RG3.