NFL Bans Apple’s Beats Headphones On Camera After Bose Secures League Sponsorship
That includes Beats by Dre, a popular brand among professional athletes such as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, both of which have endorsed the Beats by Dre brand in the company's "Hear What You Want" commercials.
The press release announcing the extended sponsorship agreement doesn't mention specific terms of the deal, though Recode said it confirmed with the NFL that the ban of competitor headsets is in place. It includes TV interviews during pre-season training camps, practice sessions, and on game day starting before the opening kickoff on through to post-game interviews conduced in the locker room or on the podium. The ban lasts until 90 minutes after the final play has ended.
According to the NFL, this is a practice the league enforces on its own.
"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."
Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion earlier this year. It remains Apple's largest acquisition to date. Despite owning the brand for a short time, this isn't the first time Apple and Bose have shared a headline. Back in July, it came to light that Bose was suing Apple for allegedly infringing on five of the company's noise-cancelling technology patents through its Beats headsets.