It must be hard to be an Olympic athlete with all that pressure to perform with the eyes of the world watching you and asking you to do your very best in that one moment.  Not to mention that most of them are far from home in a strange land with strange customs.

For many, the best way to relax the mind and get reconnected to your homeland is by music.  And there’s no better way to deliver this acoustic tranquilizer than through a pair of the increasingly popular brand of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.  Unfortunately, electronics giant Samsung wants to take those away from the athletes.

According to China’s Sina media company, Samsung, who is an official sponsor of the London Olympics, has been putting the screws to the Olympic committee in an order to ban Beats headphones from use by the athletes.

In addition, they have sent strongly worded letters to delegate from every country to remind them of the “importance of official sponsors.”  At the moment, the Great Britain athletes are forbidden to use other brands of headphones while on event grounds.

The move comes after IOC officals declared that the gift of Beats by Dr. Dre to athletes from 20 different countries was declared not a violation since the headphone were not directly used in competition. Up until very recently the Beats brand was owned by Taiwanese company HTC (they sold off half their shares in July) who also happen to be one of Samsung’s biggest competitors.

Samsung’s claim is not entirely unreasonable.  It would be like Pepsi sponsoring a huge event where everyone can be seen drinking Coca-Cola. But brow beating committee members and imposing sanctions on athletes isn’t the best remedy for this situation.  Perhaps they should focus their energy on making better headphones?

Samsung’s actions also come during a campaign to abolish the IOC’s Rule 40 which prohibits the promotion of non-official sponsors.  Under Rule 40 Samsung has the right to ban Beats headphones on athletes.  However, many players have started raising awareness over the issue on Twitter.

Source: Searchina (Japanese)

Twitter: #Rule40