Jimmy Iovine Responds to the NFL’s Beats by Dre Ban

Jimmy Iovine

Jimmy Iovine Responds to the NFL’s Beats by Dre Ban

Music industry vet calls Bose "culturally inept," explains how league restriction turned into free promotion.

Published October 17, 2014

The NFL’s ban on Beats by Dre headphones worked to the audio company’s advantage, Jimmy Iovine revealed during speaking engagement at the USC Global Conversation in New York Tuesday (Oct. 15). 

Players were asked not to wear Beats headphones on camera, after the NFL signed a deal with Beats' competitor Bose. We didn’t do anything, and now the players are going out and putting black tape on our logo,” Iovine said of players like Colin Kaepernick, who protested the NFL’s restrictions by wearing Beats headphones to a press conference, with a small piece of tape over the logo.

Kaepernick, who has an endorsement deal with Beats, was fined $10,000 for defying the rules. "It’s like, I can’t believe I’m this lucky," Iovine explained. "I feel like sending them the tape."

Iovine believes that the NFL’s ban made Bose look "culturally inept," especially in regards to younger consumers, a demographic strong point for Beats. "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."

Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion this past spring.    


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(Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Written by Latifah Muhammad


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