Apple Music has scored a touchdown with the National Football League (NFL) as the new Super Bowl Halftime Show sponsor, signing a multi-year deal with the league. The year 2023 marks Apple's first year as part of the Super Bowl Halftime Show. It replaces Pepsi which first sponsored the show in 2012.
The Super Bowl Halftime Show is a 15-minute show played in February during the championship game in American football. It features some of the most popular artists globally. Hip hop stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar headlined this year's halftime show, which garnered more than 120 million viewers, the NFL said. It also resulted in a growth in Spotify streams for some of the artists.
Other performers included The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince, and Madonna, among others. Meanwhile, Rihanna was also recently announced as the performer for the 2023 halftime show, marking the first year of a partnership between Apple Music, the NFL, and Roc Nation.
(Read also: Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg score streaming touchdown with Super Bowl halftime show)
Over the coming months, exclusive details and sneak peeks will be released in the lead-up to the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show on social media. Oliver Schusser, Apple's VP of Apple Music and Beats, said music and sports hold a special place in its hearts. "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," he added.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Pepsi's deal with the league was worth approximately US$2.3 billion for 10 years. Pepsi's logo was also shown at the corner of the feed during the halftime show. In May, Pepsi renewed its sponsorship deal with Pepsi but without the Super Bowl halftime show. With the renewal, Pepsi is allowed to use NFL premium rights for its brands including Frito Lay, CNBC reported. Pepsi's sports drink Gatorade will also continue to maintain high visiblity on the sidelines.
Other NFL sponsors include Invisalign, Bose, Bridgestone, BudLight, Castrol, Courtyard by Marriott, DraftKings, FedEx, Microsoft, Old Spice, Pizza Hut, and UberEats.
Apple Music's latest win comes as it is trying to double down on sports. In June this year, Apple inked a deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US for the Apple TV app to be the exclusive destination to watch all MLS matches beginning next year. According to Apple, this partnership is a "historic first" for a major professional sports league.
That same month, WSJ reported that Apple was among the contenders, alongside Amazon and ESPN, to secure rights to air NFL's Sunday Ticket. According to WSJ, Sunday Ticket is a subscription-only package that allows American football fans to watch most Sunday afternoon games. Satellite TV provider DirecTV has long held the rights and is paying US$1.5 billion annually. The deal expires next year, WSJ said.
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