“Remember the television commercial that opens with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick arriving at an opposing team’s stadium, where he is greeted by a throng of screaming, projectile-throwing fans? Kaepernick dons a pair of Beats by Dre noise-cancelling headphones to tune out the invective-spewing mob, affecting a stoic pose, as the slogan “Hear What You Want” appears on-screen,” Dawn Chmielewski reports for Re/code. “The professional athlete still can hear whatever he wants, but Kaepernick and other NFL players must remove their Beats headphones around the television cameras.”
“Bose secured a league sponsorship deal that effectively allows it to elbow Beats — and any other rival headphone manufacturer — off the playing field,” Chmielewski reports. “Under terms of its agreement with the league, the NFL confirmed, Bose received a broad set of rights that entitle it to prevent players (or coaches) from wearing any other manufacturer’s headphones during televised interviews.”
“The reason for the aggressive marketing tactics is clear: Beats by Dre, which Apple acquired for $3 billion earlier this year, accounts for 61 percent of the premium headphone market (costing $100 or more) in the U.S., according to researcher the NPD Group,” Chmielewski reports. “Bose had a distant 22 percent — and Sony a paltry 2 percent, the firm reported.”
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