Apple’s new headphone company has been spewing its love for the World Cup all over the internet with huge cinematic ads and exclusive Jay Z tracks, but there’s one place you won’t see a pair of Beats headphones – inside the actual stadiums.
FIFA has banned Beats headphones from the football pitch and official media events thanks to a licensing agreement with rival Sony.
Footballs biggest stars like Rooney, Suarez and Neymar Jr have been seen rocking Beats’ bulky plastic cans during their downtime, but Sony sent all players participating in the World Cup a pair of their own Sony headphones that can be used during official matches.
Beats has been known for its guerrilla marketing tactics by using celebrity endorsements and music video appearance to cut down on marketing cost over traditional ads while maximizing exposure. LeBron James, Will.i.AM, Kendrick Lamar, and even Lady Gaga have reped the headphones before Apple came in with its $3 billion bag of cash.
Marketing experts in Reuter’s report say the Beats ban will probably only amplify their appeal when athletes are spotted using them by choice in their downtime. To outsmart the official headphone sponsor of the 2012 Olympics in London, Beats sent thousands of free headphones to top athletes. Maybe Jimmy and Dre can sneak one past the goalie again in São Paulo.