Apple Music will sponsor the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime show, replacing Pepsi as the title sponsor of the annual show that typically draws one of the biggest TV audiences of the year.
“Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, which is why we’re excited to make Apple Music a part of big music and soccer,” said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats by Apple, in a prepared statement. “We can’t wait to see more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
In recent months, Apple has shown more interest in sports. Its streaming platform has reached agreements with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer to show the games to subscribers. Sports rights are a target of traditional media companies like Fox, Disney, Paramount Global and NBCUniversal, but tech companies like Apple and Amazon have bet more on those rights as they try to attract consumers to their services. new broadband subscription video. Amazon, meanwhile, has become a major partner in the NFL thanks to its control of the rights to “Thursday Night Football.”
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The first Super Bowl with Apple as a halftime sponsor will take place on Sunday, February 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. Apple Music plans to offer previews of its ideas through its social account, @AppleMusic, on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter in the coming months.
“We couldn’t think of a more fitting partner for the world’s most watched music production than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires and motivates millions of people around the world through the intersection of music and technology,” Nana-Yaw Asamoah , the NFL’s senior vice president of partnership strategy, said in a statement.
The league said more than 120 million viewers watched the halftime show accompanying Super Bowl LVI. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar were on the show, marking the first time that these five artists performed together on stage. Led by Pepsi, other part-time acts included The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.
But Pepsi said in May it would not sponsor the halftime show again in 2022, deciding to end a decade-long partnership that had shifted the event away from a roster of mainly rock musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in favor of their new group of artists who prefer the younger generations that advertisers and the NFL are trying to attract. The NFL is said to be seeking much higher annual payments for sponsorship rights.
For years, each halftime show was treated as a unique event, with a new sponsor each year. Coca-Cola and Oscar Mayer were some of the initial sponsors of the program. In 2000, online broker E-Trade began a three-year run as a sponsor of the event. In 2008, tire manufacturer Bridgestone entered the break program for five years, supporting The Who, The Black-Eyed Peas and Madonna, among others. Pepsi, which first sponsored Prince’s 2007 Super Bowl XLI halftime show, launched its ten-year sponsorship of the halftime performance in 2013.