Post-Bose: Apple's in the running for the official NFL headset

If DraftKings or FanDuel or Bud Light or Pizza Hut are willing to dig deep enough to make the NFL an offer it can’t refuse, the NFL probably wouldn’t refuse it.

From Mike Florio's "Bose is officially out as an NFL sponsor; could the Apple logo land on coaching headsets?" posted Wednesday on NBC Sports:

Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal reports that Bose is now officially out as a league sponsor...

Lefton mentions Apple as a potential headset sponsor, especially if Apple purchases the rights to Sunday Ticket. That would make for some awkward conversations between the league and Microsoft, which supplies the league’s ubiquitous sideline tablets (and which sometimes are referred to as iPads).

Whatever the partner, the relationship has real value. Via Lefton, Navigate Research estimates that the headsets are seen, on average, for eight minutes per game.

It’s hard to imagine a non-technology company landing on this very specific piece of technological equipment. But, as always, money drives the bus. If DraftKings or FanDuel or Bud Light or Pizza Hut are willing to dig deep enough to make the NFL an offer it can’t refuse, the NFL probably wouldn’t refuse it.

My take: Money talks in the NFL, and Apple's got plenty.

9 Comments

  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Has Apple ever put its brand name on a product it didn’t make especially when the company does make headphones under the Beats name? It would be one thing if Apple adapted a branded product specifically for use in the NFL and used a sponsorship to drive awareness. It’s another thing to put the Apple brand on a product it doesn’t make.

    2
    April 7, 2022
    • Doug Montgomery said:
      Looked like CBS/TNT March Madness announcers were wearing Beats branded headsets. Assume custom gear for broadcast as I have never seen Beats headphones with a connected mic advertised for sale.

      1
      April 7, 2022
  2. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    The old Apple Computer, Inc. did. I remember a white Formula 1 car at a MacWorld I went to late 80’s that had several logos including the rainbow Apple one.

    But maybe that’s considered more of an advertising billboard than a product.

    3
    April 7, 2022
  3. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    IMHO, my answer to Mike Florio’s Q is a question – does Apple need to? Especially if Sunday Ticket becomes an AppleTV+ offering.

    3
    April 7, 2022
  4. Bart Yee said:
    An Apple AirPods Max or Beats Studio 3 with custom attached mics, operating with Active noise canceling and a simple Apple / Beats logo on sides and mic would be a huge advertising coup. And of course, coaches would be asked how they sounded and worked by reporters. If mostly positive reviews, well there you go, instant testimonials.

    Couple that with supplying teams and players with maybe custom team logo or colors AirPods Max or Pro and having players wear / use them in off time or practice, Apple could open up another exclusive NFL marketing franchise for fans. If people will pay for $125 jerseys, $15 Beers and $12 hot dogs and brats, they’ll splurge for Apple AirPods. Doubly so if the AirPods could get an in-stadium live feed of the game directly or through an Apple NFL TEAM sponsored app on their iPhone. Broadcast $4.99 with IAP. Not available on Android..

    2
    April 7, 2022
  5. Bart Yee said:
    Question is, would Apple need to supply the upcoming season, and if do, how quickly could the engineer and produce a limited run of say 32 x 20 per team = ~650 plus spares so ~1000 in the initial run? Wired or wireless? Encrypted comms of course. Each stadium would also need at least 20. So make that ~1500 to 2000 units, plus packaging.

    Could be up to 5-8 pairs in use per team at any game with sideline and skybox coaches.

    If a big hit, then consumer versions with logos and team logos at a premium price, with or without mics.

    0
    April 7, 2022
  6. Daniel Epstein said:
    Some how I doubt Apple will do this unless as others suggest they feel like making a special product related to this. While I do use Intercoms and headsets for my work and would welcome an Apple designed product that was compatible with industry standard systems I doubt Apple would do it just for the sponsor advertising aspect in the NFL. I always am skeptical of small sponsorship deals for Apple unless they are committed to buying Ad time on the the broadcast as well. Doesn’t mean they won’t do something I just don’t think it is a major part of the Apple advertising budget. And if I was Microsoft I would think the NFL is using this idea to get them to expand into this area as well. Or maybe the NFL is going to switch to the Apple Ipad when the MSFT surface contract expires.

    2
    April 7, 2022
  7. Lalit Jagtap said:
    I really hope apple should not loose its focus. Only build for best experience and for users who are willing to pay premium. The NFL coaches can premium too. But hope the same product is available for purchase to everyone.

    0
    April 7, 2022
  8. Michael Goldfeder said:
    I’m looking forward to Bill Belichick smashing another Microsoft surface on the sidelines only this time doing it while he wears a pair of Apple Beats headphones. That’s advertising you cannot obtain elsewhere!

    2
    April 8, 2022

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