Don't expect to see Beats by Dre headphones in NFL locker rooms much longer, at least not on camera. According to reports, the league has banned players from wearing the headphones around television cameras out of respect for its contract with Bose.
Beats have become a trendy fashion statement among professional athletes, and Beats have embraced athletes in return with a series of commercials depicting players drowning out critics with the voice of Aloe Blacc. Bose holds a lot of leverage with its contract, however, including the right to keep players from sporting any other manufacturer around their ears. The ban extends from practice interviews to game days to post-game locker room and podium interviews.
Naturally, the ban doesn't sit well with Beats, who have poured a lot of money into marketing and spokesman contract with the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman. The company release a statement defending its headphones as an essential part of how athletes prepare for competition. Via recode.net:
"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."
The NFL also trotted out a company line:
"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."