Entertainment

Apple Music to Sponsor Super Bowl Halftime Show, Replacing Pepsi

Apple Music will take over the sponsor of the NFL’s Super Bowl show and replace Pepsi as the main funder of the annual spectacle that typically draws one of the biggest single TV viewers of the year.

“Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re thrilled that Apple Music will be part of the biggest stage for music and football,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, in a prepared declaration. “We look forward to more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”

Apple has shown more interest in sports in recent months. The streaming platform has made deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer to show games to subscribers. Sports rights have long been the domain of traditional media companies like Fox, Disney, Paramount Global and NBCUniversal, but tech companies like Apple and Amazon have played a bigger role for those rights as they seek to entice consumers to their new broadband subscription video services. . Amazon, for its part, is now a major NFL partner thanks to its control over the rights to “Thursday Night Football.”

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The first Apple halftime sponsored Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, February 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. Apple Music expects to be able to offer sneak peeks of its ideas in the coming months via its social handle, @AppleMusic, on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.

“We couldn’t think of a more suitable partner for the world’s most-watched music performance than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires and motivates millions of people around the world through the intersection of music and technology,” said Nana-Yaw Asamoah, senior vice president. president of partner strategy for the NFL, in a statement.

According to the league, more than 120 million viewers watched the halftime show that accompanied Super Bowl LVI. During the extravaganza, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar marked the first time these five artists took the stage together. Under Pepsi, other halftime appearances included The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

But Pepsi said in May that it would not return as a sponsor of the halftime show in 2022, opting to walk away from a decade-long association that stripped the event of a roster of mostly rock musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in favor of a new group of artists favored by the younger generations trying to sue advertisers and the NFL. The NFL would be looking for significantly higher annual payments for the sponsorship rights.

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For years, each halftime show was largely a one-off, with a new sponsor coming in every year. Coca-Cola and Oscar Mayer were among the program’s first backers. In 2000, online broker E-Trade began a three-year sponsorship of the event. Tire manufacturer Bridgestone joined the rest program for five years in 2008, backing the likes of The Who, The Black-Eyed Peas and Madonna. Pepsi, who initially sponsored the halftime show for Super Bowl XLI in 2007, which featured Prince, launched its 10-year sponsorship of the mid-game performance in 2013.

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