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Posts Tagged ‘Beats by Dre’

Jimmy Iovine Is Pretty Happy About How This NFL Ban on Beats Headphones Is Playing Out

jimmy iovineJimmy Iovine, co-founder of the company behind Beats by Dre headphones, spoke about the NFL ban on his product during a recent talk at the University of Southern California. And one might describe the tone of his comments as giddy.

“We didn’t do anything, and now the players are going out and putting black tape on our logo,” he said. “It’s like, I can’t believe I’m this lucky. ”

Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers player who was fined $10,000 for showing up to a press event wearing Beats headphones, showed up to a subsequent press event with hot pink Beats headphones (perhaps the same ones) but with tape over the logo. (Business Insider has a pic.)

All of it has made Beats even more conspicuous rather than less so. And Iovine had even more to say.

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NFL Wasn’t Joking About That Beats Ban

colin beatsRemember that time the NFL said players shouldn’t be caught wearing Beats by Dre headphones before, during or after games because the league’s ears belong to Bose? Colin Kaeperneck tried it and got fined.

After a game on Sunday, Kaepernick wore a large pink pair of Beats headphones to a press conference. (The headphones are pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.) For the infraction, Kaepernick was fined $10,000.

But is this all a part of a Beats PR plan?

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Beats Gets Hit With Another Marketing Blow: NFL Bans Them For Bose Deal

colin beatsBeats by Dre headphones have a great relationship with athletes, not such a great relationship with athletic leagues. Bose is the latest brand to negotiate a marketing deal that effectively gives the boot to Beats. The contract with the NFL bans them from pre-season practices and training camps, from actual games, and all televised interviews no matter where they are (in the locker room, during a press conference, etc). The NFL is responsible for enforcing the rule.

Previously, Sony entered into a licensing deal with FIFA and basically banned Beats from soccer matches. Both brands have clearly learned their lesson from the Olympics, in which Panasonic had a sponsorship deal and was overshadowed by all of the athletes walking around rocking their free Beats headphones.

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FIFA Tells Beats Headphones To Beat It With Ban From World Cup

beats fifaEverywhere you look across the sports world, you see athletes wearing Beats headphones. Everywhere except at the World Cup in Brazil.

Due to a licensing deal with Sony, FIFA has banned Beats by Dre headphones from the pitch at the World Cup. Sony, the company with a marketing deal for the games, distributed free pairs of its own headphones. But, as Reuters notes, they don’t seem to have the same ubiquity as Beats.

Beats, which was just acquired by Apple for $3 billion, made a big impression at the London Olympics in 2012 when they sent free headphones to competing athletes, sidestepping sponsor, Panasonic. Athletes happily wore them. Since then, they’ve only become more popular.

At this point, trying to distance Beats from the World Cup is like trying to un-ring a bell. Beats are now tied to sports in the same way that an apparel company like Nike or a drink like Gatorade is.

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Adventures in Marketing: Headphones by Snooki

Say you’re promoting a “premium” product with minimal production costs and you want to heighten its appeal to a certain target audience. What do you do? First you label it “premium” or “exclusive”. Then you slap a barely-related celebrity’s name on it and jack up its price well beyond reason. Score!

The latest industry overcome by celebrity endorsement deals is audio equipment. Headphones appear to be the new sneakers–when the $300 Beats by Dre model debuted a couple of years ago, they were the earwear equivalent of Nike Air Jordans. The first question to ask someone wearing Beats by Dre was either “When’s your album coming out?” or “How can I get tickets to the release party?”

Once marketers realized how profitable this racket can be, everyone and his brother (and his brother’s nephew, who appeared on one episode of some reality show) jumped aboard the C-list headphone train. Are they better than iPod earbuds? Do they offer deeper bass and crisper high-end sounds for compressed, low-quality mp3s? Sure–but this is more than a little ridiculous.

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T-Shirt Maker Sells Last Name to Highest Bidder

In a new twist on the shameless self-promotion phenomenon, Florida entrepreneur Jason Sadler (who appropriately makes a living printing quirky t-shirts) recently pulled a ridiculous stunt by offering to sell his surname to the highest bidder for use as a branding tool.

He did this in order to raise capital so he could continue providing drunk college students everywhere with “Unicorns Rock!” shirts that they’ll wear twice, pack into a drawer and then tear up to use as shoeshine cloths when they grow up and get real jobs.

Well the contest just ended; the winning bid was $45,500, and the wily promoter’s new name will be…Jason Headsets.com (a change he will definitely regret in the morning). The runner-up appears to be JLabAudio, which tells us that headphone makers are desperate for media exposure. We can’t all be Beats by Dre and charge $300 for a set of freaking headphones, can we?

This new URL surname isn’t really what we had in mind; we were thinking of something classy like “Jason Cadillac” or “Jason Burger King”. We also wonder how much the move will ultimately benefit either party–though we will say that we had never heard of headsets.com or IWearYourTShirt.com before today, so we guess it’s all good?

We can’t quite endorse this strategy, but it is a wiser approach to homemade PR than, say, accepting a $15,000 offer to tattoo a political campaign logo on your face (especially when your candidate loses).

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