After an announcement in August that the NFL would commission Bose as the official headset brand for the league, a new ban will restrict players from wearing Beats by Dre headphones during all NFL-related broadcasts. The scope of the ban applies to “all TV interviews during training camps or practice sessions and on game day” according to Yahoo! Sports. Players will also be barred from appearing on-camera with Beats during postgame interviews up to 90 minutes after the end of each game.
Players wearing the headphones during restricted times will face a fine by the league. The ban “isn’t expected to impact Beats’ promotional deals with NFL Pro Bowlers like Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton” according to Rolling Stone though the rules will be applied to them all the same.
The NFL released a statement detailing their history of “[prohibited] branded exposure on-field or during interviews.” The statement claims that “the policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today.” A league spokesperson added that “Bose is not involved in the enforcement of our policies.”
Beats by Dre responded quickly with a statement of its own, claiming that the brand has become “as important to performance as any other piece of equipment.”
“Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual,” a spokesperson for the company said according to Recode. “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.”
Beats by Dre has a 61 percent market share on headphones costing more than $100 according to Recode. Bose holds 22 percent of the same premium headphone space while Sony lags behind with 2 percent. The NFL ban follows similar restrictions put forth by FIFA during the World Cup soccer tournament (where Sony appeared as a sponsor). Besides Bose’s latest deal with the league, Microsoft reportedly pays up to $400 million for its Surface tablet to be used by coaches and players during games according to CNet.