handle put out this tweet.
— Beats By Dre (@beatsbydre) May 17, 2015
It may seem random but it is a small component of the brand’s brilliant sports marketing strategy of inserting itself into the conversation. In the last few years, especially at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Beats by Dre has acquired an impressive reputation of executing campaigns intelligently and becoming a big time player at the high end of the ferociously competitive world of sports marketing. Its success has seen it increasingly strengthen its position as one of the most visible brands in the world and has positively affected its bottom line.
Beats by Dre’s biggest success came during the World Cup in Brazil. At first, it appeared that the brand was set to be shut out by FIFA after the world’s football governing body banned Beats from the event primarily because its rivals in the headphones market, Sony, were the official World Cup sponsors. However, in the face of losing out on a chance to leverage football’s biggest party, Beats by Dre turned the conversation on its head and arguably became the biggest winner. The brand launched its Game before the Game video which went viral. It has since notched over 27 million views on YouTube.
The video featured the game’s biggest stars and was centered on World Cup poster boy, Neymar. Without being official sponsors of the event, Beats by Dre stole the headlines despite the fact that Sony sent free headphones to every team. While FIFA’s ban prevented players from wearing Beats headphones at World Cup stadiums, players like Luis Suarez, Neymar and Wayne Rooney were seen wearing the headphones during off pitch events- thus amplifying and validating Beats message as being the preferred, cool brand.
It was not the first time Beats stole a march during a big event either. At the 2012 Olympics, Beats sent out customized headphones to every member of Britain’s Olympics team as well as several high profile Olympians irrespective of the fact that Samsung sponsored the event. The result? Many athletes walked into the opening ceremony with Beats headphones strapped on, and they stayed strapped on for most of the tournament. In October 2014, Beats was banned by the NFL to protect the league’s official sponsor, rivals Bose. Again, the ban worked out in Beats favour as players’ response ranged from protesting and defying the ban to calling for Bose to make better headphones. This, again, further gave credence to Beats’ message that its headphones are of the best quality.
The company’ marketing strategy is not limited to sports either. It has steadily worked on its product placement strategy with its most recent being Avengers: Age of Ultron when Bruce Banner was wearing Beats headphones in a scene. Beats has connected with its target audience on a deeper level and it has stayed consistent with its message: we are the cool option.
The overall strategy to position Beats by Dre as the brand of choice to the pop culture audience has worked since inception but with the brand’s growing incursions in sports marketing where it is enjoying remarkable success and given its endorsements with some of the world’s biggest sports stars- Neymar, Gotze and James LeBron- the brand’s success story will get even better.