Dr Dre Beats Olympic brand police

Headphone range Beats by Dr Dre has outsmarted Olympic chiefs and succeeded with an ambush marketing stunt at the London 2012 Games by getting Team GB athletes to endorse the brand.


The brand delivered a set of headphones sporting Union Flag colours to British athletes including tennis player Laura Robson and footballer Jack Butland yesterday (30 July).

Butland took to Twitter to thank the brand for sending him the headhones, posting: “Loving my new GB Beats by Dre #TeamGB #Beats.”

He went on to tell fellow Team GB footballer Karen Carney that a Beats rep had visited the team’s hotel and was “sure they’ll bump into you guys soon.”

The tweets were posted despite Locog giving athletes a detailed social media and blogging policy to ensure they don’t fall foul of branding regulations.

The stunt happened just hours afer Olympians launched an online protest against Rule 40, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) policy that bans athletes from promoting their individual sponsors during an Olympic tournament.

The level of protection for Olympic sponsors from ambush stunts at London 2012 has been a major talking point of the event so far, with some legal experts saying the laws are too strict. Last week, brands including brewer Brewdog and off-license chain Oddbins launched campaigns criticising the rules.

The IOC were unavailable to provide comment at the time this article was published.

Readers' comments (2)

  • When laws are unjust then you have a right to break them or at least you have the moral right to bypass them. Well done Beats!
    As for the official brands - more harm than good in my book.

    Don't forget the screw up by Visa when its AT's failed in the Olympic area - no competitors you could go to - monopolies are always a bad thing. When it's backed by law its totally immoral!

    As a consumer I now avoid P&G, Visa and Coke on principle and I know I'm not alone!
    Saved a fortune by going own brand!

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  • I think the Twitter protest is a bad move by the Olympians. 40 years ago athletes were fighting for human rights and now they're fighting to promote sponsors? Lame.

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