Chris Robshaw’s Beats headphone commitment sparks tension with RWC partner Samsung
The Rugby Football Union's insistence that England rugby stars must use Samsung devices allegedly contributed to disharmony in the team's dressing room.
The RFU’s partnership with Samsung as Official Consumer Electronics and Smartphone Partner saw players slapped with strict guidelines upon which devices the they can wear – in particular headphones.
The scenario kicked up a problem for England captain Chris Robshaw, who was a partner of Beats By Dre headphones in the run up to the competition as the unofficial brand looked to steal Samsung’s thunder.
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— Beats By Dre UK (@beatsbydreUK) October 3, 2015
A source told the Telegraph that players, including the captain Robshaw, were banned from using Beats products when representing the national side on matchday as a result of the Korean brand’s exclusivity deal.
An unidentified person close to the side during the tournament told the Telegraph: “It may seem like a small thing but some of the guys owned ‘Beats by Dr Dre’ headphones but they were told they could not wear them when they got off the bus and walked to the changing rooms as part of their pre-match routine.
“The RFU were that sensitive to Samsung at that micro level but it was an issue with some of the players. A lot of them had their own headphones but couldn’t use them.”
The Rugby World Cup marked the first time Beats by Dre marked the first time the brand embarked on a marketing drive with the sport in the UK.
Beats’ chief marketing officer Omar Johnson told The Drum he is keen to expand its horizons into sport, expressing a desire to also do some “strong work” around women or older people.