For the first time in a decade, the National Football League (NFL) has announced that Apple Music will be the official sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show LVII.
Besides the game itself and the NFL prop bets (like the classic wager to guess the color of Super Bowl’s Gatorade shower), the Super Bowl always includes a halftime show that is eagerly hyped and anticipated.
The big event is scheduled for Sunday, February 12, 2023, in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ, home to the Arizona Cardinals. The announcement has marked the first time the show will have a different sponsor since 2013.
Pepsi Steps Out
The announcement, however, did not come easily. It was finally public four months after Pepsi announced that it would no longer sponsor the NFL’s iconic halftime show. For this period of time, the NFL was looking for a good deal ranging from $25 million to $50 million annually.
Until now, Pepsi had been the Super Bowl Halftime Show sponsor. Pepsi’s history with the Super Bowl started with the Super Bowl XLI in 2007 when it led the Halftime Show starring Prince.
Then in 2013, Pepsi signed a 10-year contract with the NFL, which expired this year. Nonetheless, Pepsi will preserve its title as the official soft drink of the Super Bowl according to a separate agreement with the NFL.
The NFL had a deal with Bridgestone that was worth an estimated $9 million to $10 million per year prior to Pepsi taking over the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Apple Steps In
According to The New York Times, the NFL halftime sponsorship deal could be worth about $50 million, but the terms of the finalized agreement were not made public.
However, the Super Bowl Halftime Show music sponsorship will be replaced by Apple Music, as announced on Friday, September 23, by Nana-Yaw Asamoah, SVP of Partner Strategy for the NFL, on his Twitter account:
“We are proud to welcome Apple Music to the NFL family as our new partner for the iconic Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
The last Super Bowl Halftime show attracted more than 120 million viewers and won three Creative Emmy awards with the participation of hip-hop stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar. Other Super Bowl Halftime Shows have included The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince, Madonna, and many more.
As stated by Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats: “Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re very excited Apple Music will be part of Music and football’s biggest stage. We’re looking forward to even more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show”.
Apple and NFL: A Story That Dates Back To 1984
The new NFL sponsorship makes sense since Apple Music has been competing against the constantly growing company of Spotify for more listeners. After all, according to CBS Sports, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is “the most-watched musical performance of the year.”
Every year, the NFL rakes approximately $3 billion from airing the game. In fact, part of the agreement with the NFL is to advertise brands as it is one of the most expensive ad times to buy.
It won’t be the first time Apple interacts with the NFL. As a matter of fact, both companies have a long history that comes back from 1984 when an ad for the first Apple Macintosh was displayed during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
As informed by Apple, as of July 2022, it has reached 860 million paid subscriptions on all its platforms: App Store, Apple TV+, and Apple Music. Apple Music has a catalog of over 90 million songs and an immersive sound powered by Spatial Audio.
In fact, a new report of J.P. Morgan predicts that Apple Music will reach 110 million paying subscribers by 2025 and will be worth $7 billion a year.
Rihanna To Perform At Halftime
As far as it has been announced, international icon and philanthropist Rihanna will be starring in the first Apple Music Halftime Show performance.
“Rihanna is an incredible recording artist who is a favorite for many millions of Apple Music customers around the world,” says Oliver Schusser.
“Rihanna is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been a cultural force throughout her career. We look forward to collaborating with Rihanna, Roc Nation, and Apple Music to bring fans another historic Halftime Show performance,” shares Seth Dudowsky, NFL Head of Music.
There are also rumors that next year’s Halftime Show will feature multi-million-selling artist Taylor Swift. Considering she has a contract with Coca-Cola, many fans believe that now that Apple Music will sponsor the show, perhaps this time she will be considered, but it hasn’t yet been confirmed.
Over the upcoming months, Apple Music, on the other hand, will be engaging fans through its social media accounts @AppleMusic on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter by giving exclusive hints and a sneak peed of their first Halftime Show.
As for Apple Music, it has shared a simple tweet reading “See you in February,” leaving all spectators anxious for the upcoming clues.