Apple may have launched a few football-themed advertisements but the company has always been reluctant at being an official sponsor of any sporting event.
Quartz 9 published a report on how the company has become the “winner of the World Cup” without even paying a single penny to the FIFA or television. Apple follows a strict policy of avoiding sponsorships and advertising in general and it's interesting to see how the Cupertino giant managed to get their products visible.
FIFA has been known to rake in up to $1.6 billion from marketing alone and Apple managed to avoid paying huge amounts of money and still managed to get their products in front of the cameras.
FIFA has been known to prevent players from wearing products by companies that are not official sponsors. FIFA terms it as “ambush marketing” which is partly the reason why players cover up logos of products.
Quartz reports that numerous players have been seen wearing the AirPods and Beats headphones during training or during transit. Beats headphones have a very distinct look and an unmissable logo which is covered up by the players. Having said that, both the AirPods and Beats headphones have a unique style, that is easily recognisable.
Quartz rounded up saying “But both Beats and AirPods have a distinctive look that is difficult to mask, even with the branding obscured. While covered-up Beats were a big marketing win for Apple at the 2014 World Cup, just months after it had acquired the company, AirPods are a more subtle sell this time around.”
Many players were spotted wearing AirPods that were pictured by Reuter's photographers. In fact, the most popular choice amongst World Cup players was the AirPods.
It isn't clear whether Apple distributed the products to the players, however, it would be safe to say the company had a major interest in the sporting event. The company launched a new 'Behind the Mac' campaign and released football themed adverts during the entire course of the World Cup.