All the players were wearing them anyway.
On Wednesday, the NBA announced a new leaguewide deal to make Beats by Dr. Dre the official headphone, wireless speaker and audio partner of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League and USA Basketball.
“Beats revolutionized the music industry and has become one of the most innovative and culturally-influential brands in the world,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Through our partnership, we have an exciting opportunity to merge sports, pop culture and technology to deliver unparalleled experiences and premium products to our fans.”
To be honest, it’s hard to picture Silver wearing a pair of Beats (and what would he be listening to, Chronic? Compton?), but this is a smart business deal. NBA players were already a walking ad for Beats every time they entered an arena so might as well make it official and have some money exchange hands. Everybody scratches everyone else’s back.
“I always want to be the best and work with the best. That’s why I joined the Beats fam – they have the best headphones and they made them a style icon when no one else thought of electronics that way,” Harden said in a statement. “Whether I’m traveling, working out or decompressing after a game, I can’t imagine listening to anything without them. Beats loves basketball and always works to tell the stories of their favorite players. I’m excited to see what they do with the NBA.”
As part of the deal, Beats will provide product to players and have a larger presence during marquee events including NBA All-Star weekend, the NBA Draft and more. Plus they will strike separate deals with teams, meaning soon you can get your own Lakers/Celtics/Knicks/Bucks/whatever Beats.
Beats is ultimately owned by Apple, which paid a whopping $3 billion for the company back in 2014, although that was more about the streaming software Beats had (now at the heart of Apple’s streaming service) as it was the headphones.
Some partnerships are natural, this feels like one of them.