High-end headphone-maker Bose has signed a sponsorship deal with the National Football League, which bars players from wearing any non-Bose headphones during televised broadcasts, according to Re/code.
That means that you won’t be seeing players or coaches wearing Beats headphones around their necks during interviews anymore. And commercials such as the one starring 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wearing a pair of Beats will be a thing of the past.
The ban includes interviews conducted during preseason games and during practices, as well as post-game interviews in the locker rooms. It also extends to 90 minutes after play has ended, according to Re/code.
In a statement to Re/code, an NFL spokesperson clarifies that this isn’t a Bose policy, but actually an NFL policy.
“The NFL has longstanding policies that prohibit branded exposure on-field or during interviews unless authorised by the league. These policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today,” the statement says. “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.”
And Beats responded with its own statement, according to Re/code:
Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual. 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.
This isn’t the first time a big-name sponsored has tried to kick a rival off the field. Earlier this year, FIFA banned Beats headphones from the World Cup, where Sony was the official sponsor.
And Microsoft’s NFL campaign is off to a rocky start. It paid the NFL $US400 million to use the Surface tablet on the field, but announcers and players are still referring to it as “iPads” or “iPad-like devices.” But it hasn’t yet threatened to ban any non-Microsoft tablets.
And this isn’t the first time Bose has had beef with Beats. Bose slapped Beats with a patent infringement lawsuit in July.
Apple bought headphone-maker Beats in a $US3 billion deal earlier this year.