Bose just laid a major smackdown on Beats, courtesy of a new deal with the NFL which bars any non-Bose headphones from being shown during interviews on NFL broadcasts.
The wide-ranging agreement covers TV interviews during training camps, practice sessions and, of course, game day — extending from prior to kickoff through 90 minutes after play has finished.
Beats has already responded with a statement, noting that, “Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual. 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.”
According to research from the NPD Group, Beats currently accounts for 61% of the $100+ headphone market in the U.S., compared to Bose, which stands at 22%. While that’s still a sizeable lead, however, it’s nonetheless bad news for Beats which has marketed itself as a must-have accessory for athletes since the very beginning.
Last year, Beats ran a TV commercial showing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drowning out the boos from an opposing team’s supporters by donning a pair of Beats by Dre noise-cancelling headphones.
This isn’t the first time that Beats has been sidelined by a rival headphone manufacturer, either. During the World Cup soccer tournament last summer, FIFA banned Beats headphones from the football pitch and official media events thanks to a licensing agreement with rival Sony.