Following a sponsorship deal between Bose and the NFL for an undisclosed amount, players and coaches will no longer be allowed to wear any headphones except for Bose on the field, or during press conferences. The ban will most strongly affect players who have endorsement deals with other companies such as Beats or Monster.
Bose reached a deal with the NFL in the off season to replace Motorola as the official headphone of the NFL. Motorola had been worn by coaches on the sidelines for the last thirteen years and paid roughly forty million dollars a season for the privilege.
In an email that was sent out to teams and coaches across the league stating that this was the NFL’s policy to enforce, not the sponsors. Players would be allowed to wear any headphone of their choice if the logo was covered up.
Players are upset by this because many choose to wear Beats by Dr. Dre Studio or Pro headphones before the game for warm ups. Players like to get pumped up before a game during work outs by putting on their favorite headphones and listening to whatever music gets them focused.
Along with many players wearing them by choice, several players have endorsement deals with Beats like San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Collin Keapernick, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Even though they have endorsement deals in place, they will no longer be allowed to show off the famous “b” logo.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has an endorsement with Monster headphones. Monster was the manufacturer of Beats by Dr. Dre up until early 2013.
No word yet if Beats and other companies will take action to remove the ban. During the FIFA World cup earlier this year Sony put a similar ban on Beats headphones even though Beats released a five minute video staring Brazil’s Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior.
The ban during the World Cup was widely regarded a failure. Not only did a lot of footballers ignore the ban and wear them anyway, despite Sony sending every player a free pair, fans saw the players wearing them by choice and wanted them even more. It is one thing to see your favorite players wearing something because they get paid to, but now they were wearing them by choice on their own free time.
With Bose now being the official headphone sponsor of the NFL, and all other headphones being ban from the field and all appearances with in ninety minutes of a game, it will be interesting to see if the players follow along with the ban, or if they, like the World Cup stars, wear them anyway. The NFL has not released what the punishment or fine will be for wearing a headphone not approved by the league yet.
It is the beginning of week five in the NFL, so fans will get a look today to see if their favorite players are still wearing what they choose before games. The deal with Bose takes place immediately and the ban of rival headphones is in place.
Commentary by Andy Lapic