Dr. Dre‘s signature headphone brand “Beats By Dre” have been an unofficial sponsor of the World Cup for months as the world’s top players have been seen sporting the colorful headwear. Beats even took it as far as creating a short film displaying pre-game rituals of several of these stars:
Now with the matches in full swing, World Cup players have been banned from using the iconic headphones due to a licensing agreement with Beats competitor Sony. FIFA is asking players to remove the headphones while in official stadiums or at media events. Marketing experts have seen this as indirect advertising for Beats because players continue to use the headphones while off the field.
“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.