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EXCLUSIVE: End of the line for NFL headset partnerships?

The role of National Football League official headset partner could be permanently sidelined following the NFL’s $400m, five-year Game Console, Tablet and PC Operating System deal with Microsoft, from 2013.

Under the deal, signed in May, Microsoft replaces the mobile handset brand Motorola as the NFL’s third sideline partner alongside kit supplier Nike and PepsiCo’s sports drink brand Gatorade.

Motorola was the headset partner from 1999 to 2012.

NFL international commercial director Marc Reeves told Sports Sponsorship Insider: “Theoretically we could still sell the headset sponsorship, but it needs to be with a partner that makes sense. The headset partner gets a lot of on-screen exposure and you may not see it again this year or any year.”

More on this story and analysis of the NFL’s technology deal with Microsoft will be featured in the next edition of the Sports Sponsorship Insider newsletter, which will be delivered to subscribers on June 21.