Apple to Launch NBA 75th Anniversary x Better Powerbeats Pro Special Edition Headphones | Check Them Out Early

NBA75 Powerbeats Pro Credit: Beats
Text Size
- +

Toggle Dark Mode

Although it’s extremely rare for Apple to release promotional special editions of its products, that clearly doesn’t apply to the company’s Beats brand. In fact, one could make an argument that this is one of many reasons why it keeps Beats around in the first place.

Such is the case with Beats’s latest initiative, which is something that we’d surely never see come to a set of AirPods: Special Edition NBA-branded Powerbeats Pro to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA.

The new “NBA75 Ivory” color joins the standard lineup of Ivory, Black, and Navy Powerbeats Pro, and feature prominent red and blue accents to represent the NBA colors.

Designed in collaboration with Toronto-based Better, “a gift shop to a fictional museum,” the new special edition Powerbeats Pro feature a unique look that even goes so far as to provide red and blue ear tips on opposite sides, with corresponding red and blue beats logos.

The left earpiece is emblazoned with the red and blue NBA logo, and the customary Beats “b” logo in red, while the right earpiece gets the Better word-mark in blue, with a blue Beats logo to match.

The latest collaboration between Beats and the NBA brings a mix of nostalgia and everlasting quality with Canadian-based brand and retailer Better™ Gift Shop to create a special edition set of Powerbeats Pro.

Apple and Beats have also released a special Better™ Gift Shop playlist on Apple Music, clearly as a tie-in to the new earphones. While the music doesn’t have any direct connection to the NBA per se, playlist artwork shows a basketball net and backboard, with the Better and Beats logos on it.

“The songs on this playlist tell a story about a gift shop to a fictional museum. Not just any gift shop…a Better Gift Shop, our community-driven space in Toronto, Canada, with global recognition and connection to the arts and culture. The music you find on this playlist is some of our favourite tunes pulled from well-known classics to some legendary underground hits that have yet to be widely discovered. We pay homage to the memories, events, and individuals that helped shape our Gift Shop into what it is today. We hope you enjoy!”

While it’s a seemingly unusual collaboration, it does seem to fit well with the general sense of Beats branding, and of course, it’s a great opportunity to breathe some new life into the nearly three-year-old Powerbeats Pro earbuds, which are now the oldest earbuds in the Beats lineup.

While Beats has been selling the standard Powerbeats Pro at a discounted “limited time” price of $179.95 for a while now, the NBA75 Ivory model will still go on sale with the full $249.95 price tag when they arrive.

Apple’s Previous Collaborations

Except for Apple’s long-standing (PRODUCT)RED partnership, branding collaborations like this are basically non-existence in the world of first-party Apple products. However, this wasn’t always the case.

In the days before the iPhone, Apple released several special edition iPods, tying in with everything from music to book and TV show franchises.

The most famous of these was of course the U2 Edition iPod, which actually encompassed three different models. The original was a fourth-generation monochrome iPod, a 20GB model that featured engraved signatures of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullin Jr. on its back. That was succeeded by a second version with a color screen, and then later with a model that dressed up the first video-capable iPod — the fifth-generation iPod with video.

Each of these special edition iPods featured a red click wheel, with the band’s signatures engraved on the back, plus a “U2” word-mark right below Apple’s iconic iPod logo. The fifth-generation model also featured a darker, near-black rear casing, with matte black finishes on the headphone port, Hold switch, and Dock connector.

Apple also created a much shorter-lived Harry Potter collector’s edition 20GB iPod in 2005. This had a considerably less unique design, with the most significant difference being the Hogwarts crest engraved on the back. Two years before that, in 2003, a series of limited-edition iPods were sold with signatures or logos from Madonna, Tony Hawk, Beck, or No Doubt, for an extra $49 above the normal price.

There were some even more obscure special edition models that were never sold in Apple Stores, but clearly still had Apple’s hand behind them. This includes a Beverly Hills 90210 iPod nano sold by the CBS Store, a Family Guy iPod classic from FOX, and a Beatles iPod classic sold as part of a promotion by Bloomingdales.

It’s hard to argue that Apple wasn’t a much more “fun” company back in those days than it’s become lately, but at least it still has the Beats brand around to keep things interesting.

Social Sharing