If you’ve ever tuned into a National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-game show, you’ve inevitably seen players walk off their team bus looking focused and ready to take care of business with a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.
The leading global premium headphone brand co-founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine has officially announced a multi-year global partnership with the NBA to make Beats become the official supplier of headphones, wireless speakers, and other audio gear for the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, and USA Basketball.
To kick off the partnership, Beats put out a 30-second ad on YouTube featuring stars like Lebron James, James Harden, Karl Towns, Ben Simmons, and more.
Beats will be taking over for Harman, who previously served as the official headphone and audio partner of the NBA.
The marketing and merchandising partnership which will start in October 2018, will allow Beats to market its brand during marquee events such as the NBA All-Star weekend, NBA Draft, WNBA All-Star game, and WNBA Draft.
Beats will also establish separate deals with NBA teams to launch a line of its audio products for fans around the world, such as NBA team-branded headphones.
This season, league rules prohibit players from wearing headphones right before games. Players can wear them while warming up during shoot-arounds well in advance of the game, or in the locker room before and after games.
Players can also wear whatever brand of headphones they choose at any of these times. For example, JBL announced Steph Curry, Andre Drummond, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and more will be joining its ambassador program.
NBA players, as well as other professional athletes across the sports spectrum, are a huge influence on pop culture. What they wear and drink drives consumer spending on everything from apparel and connected jerseys (Nike and Under Armour) and sneakers (Reebok, New Balance and Adidas) to sports nutrition (Gatorade). The Beats deal should expand sales for headphones, and that is music to the ears of Apple who bought the company for $3 billion about 18 months ago.