Why Richard Sherman is laughing right now

Everyone in San Francisco is buzzing about how much they hate Richard Sherman for his impulsive, egomaniacal outburst at the end of the Seahawks-49ers game. But was it really an impulsive outburst?

Here's how I see the chain of events:

1. On one of national TVs biggest stages,Beats by Dre releases a new TV spot with Richard Sherman getting attacked by reporters for being a "thug." He slips on his Beats by Dre headphones and hears what he wants to hear, a song is playing, telling Sherman, "You're the man. You're the man. You're the man."

2. Within an hour, on that same national TV stages, Richard Sherman acts like a thug taunting Crabtree while he essentially screams at the reporter "I'm the man. I'm the man. I'm the man," in a performance just a shave off the craziness of Dennis Rodman in Korea a few weeks back.

3. The next morning (ostensibly after a night I'd imagine involved at least a few bottles of champagne), he submits an incredibly well-articulated op-ed piece to Sports Illustrated titled 'To Those Who Would Call Me a Thug or Worse," and then proceeds to hop on the interview circuit. 

In other words, I think this whole thing is an incredibly well-orchestrated sham. Richard Sherman is thugging his way right to the bank. Every time you see that Beats spot, the intensity of all this fury will be brought back and Beats will make a deep impression.

No one will admit this, but this is modern advertising. Capturing attention is harder than ever. "Paid media" and "earned media" need to work together. How do you do that?

Richard Sherman and Beats by Dre just showed you how.

Adam Kleinberg CEO

Adam is the CEO of Traction, an interactive agency broadly recognized as one of the top small agencies in the US. Kleinberg plays a hands-on role for all agency accounts and keeps his team at the leading edge of emerging digital channels. He is also a regular contributor to Ad Age, Forbes, Mashable, Digiday and iMediaConnection.