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FIFA bans Beats by Dre headphones from World Cup 2014

Neymar wearing Beats by Dre headphone in recent ad
Neymar wearing Beats by Dre headphone in recent ad
photo courtesy of Creative Commons

This is peculiar considering Beats has been the most talked about of entertainment and tech products in recent weeks due to the $3 billion buy out from Apple. Although many athletes have been seen rocking Beats in their respective team colors around their necks, FIFA has one problem with that: Sony.

Ah yes, the evil and jealous step brother found a hole in which to pry on brother Beats. One of the world’s biggest sporting events had to temporarily break up with Beats by Dre. The ban on the popular headphones was put in place to deny the presence of anything related to Beats during the World Cup.

FIFA has an official partnership with Sony Corp, and considering they are Beats rivals, they had the headphones banned. In turn, Sony shipped over free sets of their headphones for all the athletes participating in the World Cup to sport while in the arena and at media events.

Although FIFA and Beats refused to comment in detail, Beats president Luke Wood discussed the Sony takeover saying, “we don't ambush market. Music and sports are our sweet spot, so we just end up having a place there." Beats is keeping composure and maintains relaxed for they know a Sony-based World Cup is not the end-all-be-all of their entire brand.

Nevertheless, the true battle between Sony and Beats resides off the field and in the hands of photogs capturing athletes outside the arena. U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley was sporting a pair of black Beats prior to the national team’s first group game against Ghana. Brazilian forward Neymar was pictured wearing a green pair as he stepped off the bus at the Castelao stadium of Fortaleza on the eve of their match against Mexico. Luis Suarez was also sporting a blue pair during a break at a recent practice.

Google marketing executive Ellen Petry Leanse claims, “when fans see World Cup athletes wearing Beats in their downtime, by choice, it has as much impact as seeing them lace their Adidas [shoes] or sip a sponsored beverage. Maybe more, actually. Beats isn't a sponsor [of the World Cup], so the message is more authentic and credible."

Sony can have their way this time around, but we all know who’s really hugging the majorities ears.

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