Bose Chair Bob Maresca Reflects On Landing NFL Partnership
The might of the Patriots compelled the Bose Corporation to open its doors to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Krafts at 8:00am on AFC Championship Sunday in '13 for a technology showcase, but it couldn’t force Bose to skimp on the R&D in pursuit of a deal. Bose Chair and former CEO Bob Maresca shared that story during a walk down memory lane Wednesday morning at the ’18 CAA World Congress of Sports, recalling how the Krafts had given him 20 tickets to the game later that day in January '13. The tickets helped Bose to convince some cafeteria and other building workers to come in early on game day, to prepare for the high-powered visitors. After a showcase of Bose’s noise-cancelling technology, Goodell told him: “We want this on the sidelines in September 2013.” Less than nine months away. Maresca said: “I’m a huge football fan, and nobody more than me would like to do that. We will not do that unless we can truly improve the coaches' experience, and there’s no way we can get it done between now and September." Patriots Owner Robert Kraft nudged him under the table. “You can’t say no to the NFL,” he muttered. Maresca replied: “I just did." Of course, Bose ultimately did get the work done and signed with the NFL in August '14 -- a year later than Goodell wanted. They renewed the deal in May '17. It was a repeat of ancient history for Maresca and Bose, he noted. When Founder Amar Bose asked him to take over the noise-cancelling project for the military, it had cost $50M without a product to show yet. Most of the company wanted to shut it down. Bose told him: “'If this were a publicly traded company, I’d have been fired years ago,’” Maresca recalled. "But we’re not a publicly traded company, and we could invest in research over the long term without having stockholders demand we change our course of action."