The NFL Takes Its Bose Partnership Very Seriously

How much do Bose and Microsoft really benefit?


Sherman wearing his favorite headphones (which are not Bose) in public

Corporate partnerships can be difficult: this is hardly news to the PR industry. But the NFL has made clear in the past that it will promote Bose headphones and Microsoft tablets — and no other brand will do.

This week, Seahawks cornerback/headline machine Richard Sherman learned that the hard way: as USA Today reports, “someone in the crowd” at Super Bowl Media Day handed him an iPad and asked him to sing along to a song (and odd request, really). The problem was that the headphones were Sony, and the NFL partners with Bose.

“An NFL assistant” then confiscated the phones and insisted that Sherman use a speaker instead, because no player can be seen in public using a non-approved product. (The league recently fined Colin Kaepernick $10,000 for wearing his Beats set at a press conference; like Sherman, he is a spokesman for the brand.)

Despite the NFL’s insistence on cracking down on such unauthorized “promotions,” we haven’t seen any hot news surrounding Bose or the Microsoft Surface recently, but we have seen lots of headlines about Apple and Beats by Dre.

At least the staffer returned the headphones to their owner…but now we’re curious as to how the NFL’s partners measure ROI.

In other Sherman news, the cornerback told ESPN yesterday that he doesn’t know whether he will skip the Big Game if his pregnant girlfriend delivers on Super Bowl Sunday.

And we wonder why Marshawn Lynch doesn’t like to field questions from the press.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: January 29, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT