Sportress of Blogitude

Jay Cutler refers to Microsoft Surface tablets as ‘knockoff iPads’

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Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler may have run afoul of the National Football League following Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons when he appeared to take a shot at the Microsoft Surface tablets teams are using on the sidelines this season.

Cutler, when discussing the tablets, referred to them as “knockoff iPads,” according to reporting from ESPN Chicago’s Jon Greenberg posted to Twitter.

Given that Microsoft paid a whopping $400 million to have the Surface be named the “Official Tablet of the NFL”, the fact that one of league’s bigger stars seemingly took a shot at the piece of technology while simultaneously invoking the name of Microsoft’s biggest competitor in the tablet market probably caused both the NFL and Microsoft to cringe a little.

Cutler did later add that he thinks the Surface tablets “work great,” according to Greenberg, it’s just that the Bears quarterback simply didn’t know what “who made them or what they are called.”

But that doesn’t lessen the issues the NFL and Microsoft are facing while attempting to make the significant monetary investment worthwhile for the tech giant.

Microsoft reportedly has had to resort “coaching” announcers calling NFL games so they stop referring to Surface tablets as iPads.

This is only one of the several issues facing the NFL as it relates to official brands and the enormous sums of money exchanging hands for companies to be deemed the official so-and-so of the league.

The league is also experiencing resistance from some players — specifically San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — over its arrangement with Bose, an agreement that sets very specific guidelines for when players can be seen utilizing audio gear from other companies.

Kaepernick was fined last week $10,000 for wearing Beats by Dre headphones — he has a lucrative endorsement deal with the company — during a press conference following a game the previous Sunday.

Undeterred by the monetary punishment, Kaepernick again wore his Beats by Dre gear during a postgame presser following Monday night’s win over the St. Louis Rams, although he did cover up the brand logo with tape on this occasion.

The issues facing the NFL regarding branding likely will blow over as players, announcers and other assorted folks adapt to the new developments and business relationships the league is fostering with sponsors, but in the interim it can come across as a tad awkward.

[H/T The Verge]