The Beats Goes Off: NFL Goes With Bose
In between totally screwing up substance and domestic abuse policies, the NFL has at least dealt with the burning issue of whose headphones players and coaches will wear while on camera. The NFL has signed a sponsorship deal with Bose that prohibits wearing non-Bose headphones from before kickoff until after 90 minutes after the game ends. It also includes preseason and practice.
— BET (@BET) October 6, 2014
The deal completes Bose's dominance of the NFL sidelines, which started with it picking up Motorola's expired agreement to be on coaches' headphones during games. Beats is sitting pretty with 61% of the premium (greater than $100) headphone market, but it seems content to let its competitors snap up official sports sponsorships. During the World Cup, FIFA banned all of Sony's competitors from the pitch. So what does this mean for players that have become synonymous with Beats, such as Colin Kaepernick? According to Beats, it's going to lead to the downfall of football as we know it:
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
Damn, and here I thought it was all about the workouts and the steroids. They've had the same problem in college football and basketball where the school or conference will have a shoe deal in place, while the coach will have his own with a rival shoe company. Who wins? Depends on how good the coach is. But that's college, where the players have no leverage. In the NFL, where there is a lot of money at stake, expect a lawsuit that will likely invoke "restraint of trade" and "freedom of speech" issues. Yeah, they'll do that.
Richard Sherman Could Care Less About The Beats By Dre Rules: pic.twitter.com/o0qWiw9aIw
— 365 Rundown Sports (@365Rundown) October 6, 2014
The cynic in me thinks there might be an agenda behind trying to get the Beats logo off the sideline. The league and its embattled commissioner are trying to show they are the league that has zero tolerance for men assaulting women. And well, do you remember the name Dee Barnes? That was the female VJ back in the 90's that Dre "allegedly" assaulted (punched, kicked, etc.) after he was unhappy about her interview (the two settled out of court).
Of course, I could be wrong, but I'll bet I'm right about the impending lawsuit between Apple (Beats' parent company) and the NFL, and whoever the new commissioner is.
Photo via Getty
David Young has been a columnist for Sports Illustrated and ESPN, and is now one for SportsGrid.com. Follow him on Twitter @turkeysflying.