By: Tim Van Duyne
Dr. Dre has made a fortune off of his popular noise-cancelling headphones Beats By Dre (Dre made a cool $620 million this past year). If you have watched NFL games the past two years you should have noticed commercials with NFL players like Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman wearing the slick headphones. Pretty much every player listening to music before and after games has picked Beats by Dre as their headphones of choice.
Well you won’t see that anymore.
On Sunday the NFL announced a new deal with BOSE as its official home audio sponsor. Motorola previously owned that titled and payed $40 million a year to have Motorola displayed on all the coaches headsets.
The NFL also announced that players and coaches will no longer be able to wear headphones from other companies besides Bose.
Full statement from the NFL, via RECODE:
“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,” an NFL 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.”
The NFL has come down with a rule that players and coaches can’t wear rival headphones during TV interviews, during pre-game warm-ups and all post-game interviews. Players will also have to wait 90 minutes after the game until they can throw on their Beats.
Beats by Dre has also responded to the news:
“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.”
Clearly this is a marketing strategy by Bose to try to reel in the ever powerful Beats by Dre, who currently dominates the premium headphone market (costing more than $100). Beats by Dre currently owns 61 percent of the market compared to Bose’s 22 percent.
Whether this strategy pays off for Bose is still to be seen, but this move by the NFL will most assuredly piss off a lot of players who are Beats by Dre fans (and there are a lot of them). The two players that come to mind the quickest are the aforementioned Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman who both endorse Beats by Dre. Kaepernick in Sherman not only aren’t able to wear their favorite headphones, but they also don’t get that free marketing and advertising money.
Beats are the most dope headphone product out on the market right now. If you have a pair of Beats by Dre it means you love music and quality audio. It means you’re willing to pay $200 for some badass looking headphones. It also means you’re repping one of the biggest hip-hop stars of all-time, Dr. Dre. Beats by Dre are overpriced, but the quality of them and what it means when you have them allows people to look past that expensive price tag. Think of it like Jordan shoes. People will pay big money for quality and fashion, and that’s what Beats are. Beats are like Jordans and Bose headphones are like Converse. No competition.
So the “No Fun league” is back at it again. Players can’t show off. Players can’t dunk the football over the goal post. And now players can’t bump Still Dre on their awesome Beats by Dre headphones, at least when the camera is on.
Boo NFL. Boo Bose.
My prediction: Beats by Dre will still own the headphone market, because people like dope things and Dr. Dre only makes dope things.