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Beats by Dre Utilise and Build on Their Sports Sponsorship Portfolio

Beats by Dre have utilised a marketing strategy to build an impressive sponsorship portfolio and endorse some of the world’s best sporting athletes

Beats by Dre, founded in 2006, notoriously have produced headphones over the last 10 years, but have been moving further afield from their original products and now several other sub topics such as Beats Audio, Personal Audio, Car Audio and Beats Music. Over time Beats by Dre headphones have become a staple to many peoples accessories and in recent years, the popular brand have seeked to sponsor sports teams across the world.

In their first step within the sports sector, Beats released a campaign called ‘Hear What You Want’ sponsoring a range of sports stars including; the then Brooklyn Nets basketball player, Kevin Garnett, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick and the then Barcelona Midfielder, Cesc Fabregas. All athletes use a pair of Beats headphones to block out torment from supporters, a USP Beats By Dre have used throughout all of their campaigns.

After successes with their primary sports collaborations, Dre Beats used the Fifa World Cup in 2014 as a marketing opportunity producing yet another epic watc;. ‘The Game Before the Game’ shows players such as Neymar Jr, Javier Hernandez, Mario Gotze, Robin Van Persie, Daniel Sturridge and many more, as they prepare for their games. Much of Beats’ success can be attributed to their campaigns, but also the trend that was sparked by Beats back in 2011, when headphones were the most sought after accessory. This lead to Apple becoming interested and in 2014, a $3 billion deal was made with Apple Inc, Apple’s largest acquisition to date.

The next campaign came again, with one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Rugby World Cup. Hosted by the reigning champions New Zealand, the campaign saw 4 videos that looked into the culture behind the All Blacks and attempt to portray that through the captain Richie McCaw and one of the most significant parts of New Zealand Rugby, The Haka: ‘Richie McCaw in The Game Starts Here’, ‘Richie McCaw Interview – A Champions Legacy’, ‘Haka Documentary: We Belong Here’, ‘The Haka – Interview with Richie McCaw’.

In some of their latest sponsorship quest, Beats have combined with female tennis legend, Serena Williams as well as European football teams such as Chelsea and Bayern Munich. No doubt, the list of teams and players will grow, but it’s evident that the Beats by Dre and tapped into the sporting community on a global scale.

It comes as no surprise that Beats have been successful over the last few years, with their sponsorship and endorsement strategies being held has a tale of marketing genius. Mainly attributed to their selective celebrity endorsements. Players like Colin Kaepernick, whose maverick style of play has lead him to be a figurehead within NFL as well as Richie McCaw, the legendary All black.

But supposedly, Beats were able to catapult themselves into pop-culture with a marketing strategy that was virtually free. A set of headphones was sent to Lebron James who, several days later, asked for 15 more, weeks later the 2008 US Olympic Basketball team were all seen, headphones in hand.

But while they’ve created so much perceived success, Beats have managed to create a rather large amount of turmoil too. Beats were subsequently banned from advertising at the 2014 football World Cup after releasing their video with Brazilian player Neymar, because they weren’t official sponsors of the tournament. Similarly, in 2015, Beats found themselves out in the cold from the NFL whose exclusive sponsor, Bose held rights that were breached by Beats. Though not damaging the overall sales figures of the brand, with Iovine (co-founder of Beats) suggesting being banned from the NFL added a ‘cool-factor’ that appealed to the public.

Though they seemed to have ruffled some feathers on the way to the top, the way in which they marketed their product was ultimately a success; their virtually free endorsements enabled the brand to build a name for themselves before they were bought by Apple. Beats By Dre’s sponsorship portfolio compiles some of the greatest sporting athletes of this generation, and any brand that holds relationships with sporting idols such as Lebron James, Neymar and Richie McCaw is a force to be reckoned with.