Beats' Jimmy Iovine on NFL headphone ban: 'I can't believe I'm this lucky'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
Beats cofounder and current Apple executive Jimmy Iovine responded to the National Football League's decision to ban Beats by Dre headphones from interviews, suggesting the pressure from Bose is resulting in cheap publicity.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (left) was fined $10,000 for wearing Beats by Dre headphones during a post-game press conference. | Source: CSN Bay Area


Speaking at the University of California's Global Conversation on Wednesday, Iovine noted that NFL stars under contract with Beats, as well as those who prefer the headphones, have taken to taping over the company's logo to avoid monetary fines, reports Business Insider

"We didn't do anything, and now the players are going out and putting black tape on our logo," Iovine said. "It's like, I can't believe I'm this lucky. I feel like sending them the tape."

The NFL is enforcing a ban on all headphone products not made by Bose, who inked a deal in March to become the league's "official headphone." Last week, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 for wearing a pair of pink Beats to a post-game press conference. It was later learned that the color choice was in support of breast cancer awareness month and his grandmother, who is a cancer survivor.

Iovine went on to say that Sony and Bose, both major competitors in the headphone industry, are out of touch with pop culture, which resulted in a windfall of free press for Beats.

"What happened there, you have a tech company that's culturally inept. 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 superheros 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," Iovine said.

The NFL ban is nothing new to Beats, which has a number of pro athlete promoters on its roster, including LeBron James, Serena Williams and Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos, Jr.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70

    Yeah, much better to be a news footnote than to have all those kids seeing players wearing your product season after season.

  • Reply 2 of 70
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Note to Jimmy- your headphones blow. They're technically inferior to both Sony and Bose which ain't sayin much.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member

    It is the same deal in TV shows . All the Apple logos are covered over but everyone knows that there are Apple logos under the stickers. It is still placement because nobody is fooled.

  • Reply 4 of 70
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Note to Jimmy- your headphones blow. They're technically inferior to both Sony and Bose which ain't sayin much.

    Sony, perhaps. Bose is just as much marketing as Beats is, except Bose is associated with old people.

    And as I've said, the Solo 2's got good reviews.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Sony, perhaps. Bose is just as much marketing as Beats is, except Bose is associated with old people.

    And as I've said, the Solo 2's got good reviews.

    The Bose in ear sports series kills Beats equivalents.
  • Reply 6 of 70
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Note to Jimmy- your headphones blow. They're technically inferior to both Sony and Bose which ain't sayin much.

  • Reply 7 of 70
    pazuzu wrote: »
    The Bose in ear sports series kills Beats equivalents.

    That's like bragging your Civic is faster than your buddy's Corolla, in the end nobody cares.
  • Reply 8 of 70



    No one, least of all Iovine is talking about technical superiority. His point has nothing to do with that. The NFL has handed them PR and advertising they couldn't buy. They have also given Beats' cultural position in their primary demographic a huge boost.

     

    I am still somewhat surprised, perhaps naively, when people apply their technophile thinking to things covered on websites like this (irrespective of the OS) that have nothing to do with tech. It's the same kind of thinking that drives the Apple haters on CNET and BGR. 99.9% of the market for mobile devices and accessories couldn't care less about most of these tech observations, specs, what chip is in the unit, etc. It's product positioning, marketing, image and pop culture that is driving the market, not the opinions and reviews of the technically astute.

     

    BTW, Bose headphones blow and are just as overpriced as Beats.

  • Reply 9 of 70
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    slurpy wrote: »

    Listen I understand pazuzu compels you to hurl profanities at him but you've got to stop. It's unhealthy for you and all your rage to be manifested in something you know deep down Inside is right.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    That's like bragging your Civic is faster than your buddy's Corolla, in the end nobody cares.

    Exactly except Beats is dead last. And Apple bought it- for $3Billion.
  • Reply 11 of 70
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Exactly except Beats is dead last. And Apple bought it- for $3Billion.

    Wrong. You compared models, not brands. You specified in ear headphones then completely miss the analogy of specific car models.

    Funnily enough, mine still applies. Lexus (Toyota's luxury brand) is for old people, like Bose. Acura (Honda's luxury brand) is for younger, well off people who appreciate a little more excitement and style (like Beats). But neither is Ferarri.
  • Reply 12 of 70
    tommikele wrote: »

    No one, least of all Iovine is talking about technical superiority. His point has nothing to do with that. The NFL has handed them PR and advertising they couldn't buy. They have also given Beats' cultural position in their primary demographic a huge boost.

    I am still somewhat surprised, perhaps naively, when people apply their technophile thinking to things covered on websites like this (irrespective of the OS) that have nothing to do with tech. It's the same kind of thinking that drives the Apple haters on CNET and BGR. 99.9% of the market for mobile devices and accessories couldn't care less about most of these tech observations, specs, what chip is in the unit, etc. It's product positioning, marketing, image and pop culture that is driving the market, not the opinions and reviews of the technically astute.

    BTW, Bose headphones blow and are just as overpriced as Beats.

    Whoa! Slow down there, Tex. Don't go using common sense.
  • Reply 13 of 70
    creepcreep Posts: 80member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    Exactly except Beats is dead last. And Apple bought it- for $3Billion.

    I thought it was established that Apple bought Beats to get Dre and Iovine on-board?  Disregard your opinion about Beats (we share the same opinion, btw) and see that these two individuals were able to build a billion-dollar brand by selling eye-catching yet janky headphones.  That's valuable.

  • Reply 14 of 70
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    The Bose in ear sports series kills Beats equivalents.

    Bose in ear sports series has comfort that is unparalleled. Beats has better sound than Bose easy. I chose Bose because of comfort. I need headphones that are easy to work out with. I'm not paying $600 for headphones without the apple logo on them.

  • Reply 15 of 70
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,970moderator
    Apparently the above posters have never heard of the concept of shaping the narrative, which Mr. Iovine demonstrated here in near perfect form. Talk about missing the point. Whoosh, right over their heads!
  • Reply 16 of 70



    They are far from dead last in profits, branding, pop culture and market position. That is worth far more than what Apple paid.  Very few people, least of all Apple, care whether or not Beats headphones are technically superior. The headphones don't have too much to do with why Apple bought Beats. In fact, I doubt Apple gives a too much of a royal you know what about that. This is not about the technophiles personal wars over what products you guys find superior and it's not what the article is about.

  • Reply 17 of 70
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Apparently the above posters have never heard of the concept of shaping the narrative, which Mr. Iovine demonstrated here in near perfect form. Talk about missing the point. Whoosh, right over their heads!

    Mr Iovine was simply bull sheeting trying to get his product some publicity. Plain and simple.
  • Reply 18 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Creep View Post

     

    I thought it was established that Apple bought Beats to get Dre and Iovine on-board?  Disregard your opinion about Beats (we share the same opinion, btw) and see that these two individuals were able to build a billion-dollar brand by selling eye-catching yet janky headphones.  That's valuable.




    Apple bought Beats for three reasons, IMO.

     

    1. Profitable headphone brand which financially justifies the purchase.

    2. Streaming service which can be used to improve iTunes Radio, provides revenue source from other OS users without diluting the Apple brand.

    3. They got one of the most successful marketing teams of all time, one that got people to pay a premium for Air Jordans and Beats headphones. The Air Jordan example is particularly telling, because they didn't do anything better than regular shoes, but people wanted them. Can you see where something Apple is launching soon might benefit from that?

     

    Beats headphones are not audiophile grade, it's true. I don't think they've ever claimed to be, they've claimed to be playback headphones, not reference headphones. And they're still a darn sight better than the headphones/earbuds most people were using beforehand, including the EarPods.

     

     

    As for the story, as Iovine said, this just adds to Beats's brand cachet.

  • Reply 19 of 70
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Jimmy you work for Apple now so shut up. Unless you want to tell us how much Kapernick is getting paid to wear your crappy headphones.
  • Reply 20 of 70
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    tommikele wrote: »

    They are far from dead last in profits, branding, pop culture and market position. That is worth far more than what Apple paid.  Very few people, least of all Apple, care whether or not Beats headphones are technically superior. The headphones don't have too much to do with why Apple bought Beats. In fact, I doubt Apple gives a too much of a royal you know what about that. This is not about the technophiles personal wars over what products you guys find superior and it's not what the article is about.

    The article is about Iovine trying to get in on product placement. If you think those headphones are worth more than what Apple paid then good for you!
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