NFL Bans Beats By Dre Thanks To 'Official' Bose Sponsorship
Beats headphones have become a staple of football broadcasts over the past few years. Several players don them during pre-game warm-ups to listen to their favorite tunes, and images like the one above are common.
But the NFL is now trying to snuff out any Beats that might find their way in front of a camera on gameday.
According to Recode, the ban "extends to TV interviews conducted during pre-season training camps or practice sessions and on game day — starting before the opening kickoff through the final whistle to post-game interviews conducted in the locker room or on the podium. The restriction remains in place until 90 minutes after the play has ended."
What's the big deal? Well, the 'No Fun League' has an exclusive deal with Bose as the "official sound" of the NFL, and the sonic manufacturers were clearly upset that Beats were showing up all over the place on broadcasts.
"The NFL has longstanding policies that prohibit branded exposure on-field or during interviews unless authorized by the league. These policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today," a spokesperson said in a statement. "They are the NFL's policies — not one of the league's sponsors, Bose in this case. Bose is not involved in the enforcement of our policies. This is true for others on-field."
Beats hit back by basically claiming their headphones will make a difference in players' performances.
"Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual," a Beats spokesperson said. "Music can have a significant positive effect on an athlete's focus and mental preparedness and has become as important to performance as any other piece of equipment."
Recode points out that Beats by Dre accounts for 61 percent of the $100-plus headphone market in the U.S.
Bose accounts for 22 percent, and Sony 2 percent.