Beats Headphones Banned at World Cup, But That's Not All Bad from a Marketing Standpoint

Josh WolfordMarketing & Advertising

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You won't see any stars wearing Beats by Dre headphones on the pitch or at press conferences during the 2014 World Cup, but that doesn't mean that Beats aren't enjoying a nice marketing opportunity.

As Reuters reports, FIFA has banned the on-field use of Beats headphones, due to a licensing agreement with rival Sony.

But Beats has the support of plenty of footballers, including Neymar, Rio Ferdinand, Daniel Sturridge, and Luis Suarez (among others) – and those stars have been wearing their personal Beats headphones outside of the official FIFA ban zones – buses, practices, and such.

"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 Ellen Petry Leanse, former Apple and Google strategist.

And she's right, of course. For those who see Neymar, for instance, sporting Beats headphones off the field and Sony headphones on it will come to the obvious conclusion that the latter is for show, and the former is for pleasure. It's a funny, but interesting form of indirect marketing.

Beats isn't all about indirect marketing, of course...

All of those are part of Beats' 'The Game Before The Game' ad campaign that kicked off earlier this month with a sprawling five-minute ad that hit viral paydirt and racked up over 17 million YouTube views.

Last month, Apple officially announced their acquisition of Beats for $2.6 billion, bringing co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre along for the ride.

Image via Beats by Dre, Instagram

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf