The NFL has signed a new sponsorship deal with Bose—which means players can no longer wear headphones by other brands such as Beats By Dre when they appear on camera in both pre-game and post-game interviews (up until 90 minutes afterwards), reports Re/code.
Beats responded by saying their headphones have played an integral part of some pre-game warm ups, such as for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin 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.”
The NFL reiterated its position on this ban, noting the decision is theirs and is not something being suggested by sponsors:
“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.”
According to NDP Group, Beats by Dre holds 61% of the premium $100+ headphone market in the U.S., while Bose only holds 22%.