We see it all the time. Professional athletes descend from the bus on game day and every player walks out donning the same accessory: a pair of headphones from Beats By Dre. Although the headphones have become a fashion staple among many professionals, this won’t be the case for any of the athletes participating in the World Cup.
According to FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body is banning athletes from wearing Beats headphones while participating in World Cup events. Why? One of the agency’s six major partners just so happens to be Sony. As a result, players have been banned from wearing Beats headphones during matches, inside stadiums, or at any media events. According to Reuters, Sony even went so far as to send every player participating in the World Cup a free pair of headphones to wear instead.
Beats was recently acquired by Apple for a staggering $3.2 billion, so we doubt the company is worried about losing out to Sony. With Apple now involved, the tech giants may find themselves outbidding Sony for a partner spot next time around. It already seems like Beats is gunning for the World Cup following the star-studded commercial the company aired just before the start of the tournament. The epic five-minute ad features some of the world’s biggest athletes and stars like Neymar, Robin van Persie, Jozy Altidore, LeBron James, and even Lil Wayne (see below).