Personalized ‘Beats By Dre’ headphones causing controversy at Olympics

07/31/2012 at 11:46 am By

If you have been watching any of the 2012 London Olympics (and really, who hasn’t?) you may have noticed some athletes from Great Britain sporting specialized versions of the popular ‘Beats By Dre’ headphones (similar to the ones pictured to the left).

Apparently, the headphones have caused a stir with the International Olympics Committee, who have a ban on any promotion by companies that aren’t official licensed by the IOC. Here are some details courtesy of Y! Sports:

Dre and his public relations and marketing teams devised the plan to send batches of the headphones to Great Britain athletes, despite the detailed regulations of the International Olympic Committee that prohibit “advertising” from companies that do not hold official Olympic rights.

Several swimmers and members of the British soccer team have been spotted wearing the headphones. The IOC is considering what action to take.

The IOC is especially angered as it has an official electronics partner in Panasonic whose interests it is likely to take action to protect.

“We have to be careful because without these measures there could be no sponsorships and without sponsorships there would be no Olympics,” Rogge said.

The IOC’s concern is somewhat understandable, given their partnership with Panasonic as a sponsor. Banning the ‘Beat By Dre’ headphones wouldn’t be the best idea though. Instead, they should consider reaching out to ‘Dre’ regarding a sponsorship of their own, given the global popularity of the brand. That would be a win-win situation for both sides. It’s not like kids are lining up for a pair of Panasonic headphones anyway.

Or maybe Dre should secretly send a few pairs or personalized headphones to the IOC to smooth everything over. I doubt they would be opposed to that idea.


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