World Cup Ban on Beats by Dre May Help Headphones Giant Boom

Soccer association honors licensing from Sony but unwillingly buys into Beat's unorthodox publicity

beats dre banned world cup fifa
Brazilian pitches will be missing Beats Photo by Getty Images
WRITTEN BY
Olivia Forman

The futbol-overlords at FIFA have banned Beats by Dre from every official World Cup event, but the restriction may actually further the headphones giant's so-far successful "guerrilla marketing" approach. According to Reuters, the soccer federation blocked Apple's latest acquisition in order to honor a licensing agreement with Sony, who reportedly provided tournament players with their own portable sound-delivery systems.

Of course, it's possible Sony cribbed that move from Beats who, at the 2012 Olympics, outsmarted official sponsor Panasonic by sending thousands of free jam cans and ear buds to famous athletes, including the U.S. basketball team and every single British representative. But no worry, because it seems FIFA's attempt to keep Dre's design off of the pitch will actually secure Beats' swag as the alternative cool.

"When fans see World Cup athletes wearing Beats in their downtime, by choice, it has as much impact as seeing them lace their Adidas (boots) or sip a sponsored beverage," said strategist Ellen Petry Leanse, a former Apple and Google executive. "Maybe more, actually — Beats isn't a sponsor, so the message is more authentic and credible."

At the electronics company hasn't missed an, ahem, beat in preperation for the World Cup, hyping their snug niche between music and sports in the commerical/short film "The Game Before the Game." Peep Jay Z's remix of the video's official song "Jungle" here.

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