While some may think the NFL’s ban on Beats by Dre may hurt the brand, it’s actually done the opposite. According to co-founder Jimmy Iovine, since the players are technically still using their products, the ban is boosting their brand rather than hurting them. In an interview with Business Insider, Iovine spoke on what he thought about the ban of his products on and off the field.
“We didn’t do anything, and now the players are going out and putting black tape on our logo,” Iovine said to Business Insider. “It’s like, I can’t believe I’m this lucky. I feel like sending them the tape.”
At the top of the NFL season, the NFL issued a ban on all Beats by Dre products on the field and even in the locker rooms since Bose became the official provider of headsets for the NFL. However, most players haven’t been following the new rules and have been putting black tape over their Beats headphones. Last week, San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 for wearing a pair of pink Beats during a press conference. Afterwards, he wore them again during another interview but covered the logo in athletic tape.
While cases like this happen often in the marketing and sports world, Iovine claims the ban will inadvertently hurt Bose in the end.
“What happened there, you have a tech company that’s culturally inept,” Iovine said. “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.”
Will more fines be issued in the coming months? The season is long from over and the players still don’t seem to care about the ban. But we’ll see how long it takes before that black tape becomes a bigger issue.