Any NFL player who owns Beats headphones is going to have to leave them at home on game day from now on. The NFL confirmed to recode.net that the popular ‘Beats by Dre’ headphones have been banned due to the league’s partnership with Bose.
Bose signed a long-term deal with the NFL in March that allows the company to put its logo on headsets worn by coaches. The deal also allows Bose to ask the NFL to keep players and coaches from wearing anyone else’s headphones.
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“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.”
Basically, players won’t be allowed to wear Beats headphones before games or at any other time where cameras might be around at an NFL event. The game day ban runs until 90 minutes after a game has finished. The Beats ban also includes any training camp or offseason workout session where a player might be interviewed on-camera.
The photo at the top of the page shows Richard Sherman wearing Beats as he gets off the plane in New Jersey before Super Bowl XLVIII. That’s something Sherman wouldn’t be able to do if he were in a similar position at the end of this season.
Sherman and Colin Kaepernick are two NFL players who endorse Beats.
It’s not clear how much Bose is paying to be the NFL’s exclusive headset provider, but Motorola was paying $40 million-a-year during its 13-year stint as the NFL’s exclusive provider.
Beats clearly isn’t very happy about the policy change, especially since they’re spending big bucks with Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman. Here’s a statement they gave to Re/Code, which originally broke the story:
Beats issued a statement saying that its headphones have become part of the pre-game preparations for professional athletes like Kaepernick.
“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.”