In just a matter of days, Beats By Dre headphones have become one of the most visible – and controversial – brands at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Athletes like British tennis player Laura Robson and soccer player Jack Butland tweeted their love for the products – and subsequently deleted the tweets, in accordance with Rule 40 of the International Olympic Committee’s strict sponsor policy, which forbids athletes from mentioning personal sponsors on social media or promoting products other than those of the official sponsors. (This year’s sponsors include Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Adidas, General Electric, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Visa and Panasonic, among others.)
According to a rep for the company, Beats by Dre has not yet had a dialogue with the IOC about the “ambush marketing” practice of athletes wearing and tweeting about the unsanctioned headphones. But Omar Johnson, Beats senior VP of marketing, tells Billboard.biz that the company works with athletes year-round.
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