Audio giant Bose Corporation is an official NFL sponsor, so the league reacted predictably to the increasing number of NFL players who are wearing Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. It's banning them from doing so.
Earlier this month, San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick was even fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing the headphones, since Bose's sponsorship deal with the league stipulates that players cannot wear a competing brand during television appearances. In a recent appearance, Kaepernick could be seen with them around his neck -- but with tape over the Beats logo.
Music executive Jimmy Iovine, who co-founded Beats Electronics (which was recently sold to Apple Inc. for $3 billion) with hip hop icon Dr. Dre, responded to the NFL ban with surprising glee. The tape, he argues, makes the brand even more appealing to young people.
"What happened there, you have a tech company that’s culturally inept," Iovine said of Bose at a talk on Wednesday at the University of Southern California’s Global Conversation, reports Business Insider. "There’s no one at the company that said, 'If you ban these guys, you’re going to look bad to the young people, and they’re going to look like superheroes even though they’re just pure capitalists -- well they’re not pure capitalists, but they’re real capitalists and [they] sold that company to Apple -- but you’re going to make them look like the underdog.'"
Regarding players using the tape over the Beats logo, he said, "[I] can’t believe I’m this lucky; I feel like sending them the tape."