Tech giant Apple has secured sponsorship rights to the flagship Super Bowl halftime show starting next year after striking an agreement covering the iconic end-of-season event with American football’s NFL.
Apple takes over from soft drinks and snacks food giant Pepsi, which sponsored the show for the past 10 years. Pepsi decided not to renew the rights when its deal expired at the end of the 2021-22 season as part of a newly extended agreement with the league.
Apple’s multi-year deal will begin with this season’s Super Bowl on February 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. The act is yet to be announced.
Previous performances have included The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince, Madonna, and more.
Nana-Yaw Asamoah, NFL’s senior vice-president of partner strategy, said: “We are proud to welcome Apple Music to the NFL family as our new partner for the iconic Super Bowl Halftime Show.
“We couldn’t think of a more appropriate partner for the world’s most watched musical performance than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires, and motivates millions of people around the world through the intersection of music and technology.”
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Citing someone familiar with the terms, news outlet Sportico said Apple will pay nearly $50 million per year for a five-year span.
The annual fee is in line with what the NFL was reportedly seeking when it began looking for a new sponsor. Pepsi and the NFL did not disclose the fees during the soft drink giant’s 10-year reign but Bridgestone paid around $10 million per year before Pepsi.
Last year's halftime show, which included performances by hip-hop stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, drew a total of 29 million US household viewers.
The show also received three Creative Emmy awards.
The NFL said over the coming months, fans can expect to see exclusive and sneak previews leading up to the event by following Apple’s social media channels.
Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice-president of Apple Music and Beats, said: “Music and sport 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 joins the more than 30 league-wide sponsors the NFL entered the 2022 season with, including Pepsi, Intel, Anheuser-Busch, Lowe’s, and Microsoft.
The deal comes as Apple battles it out with Amazon and Disney for the rights to the NFL’s domestic out-of-market Sunday Ticket package, with the trio awaiting a decision from the league.
Rights to the package have been held by DirecTV, the US satellite broadcaster owned by telecoms giant AT&T, since 1994, but its existing deal with the NFL, worth $1.5 billion per year, expires after the 2022-23 season.
Negotiations were due to conclude before the end of last season, but talks then continued into the offseason and into the start of this campaign.
In April, it was reported that Apple was the favorite to land the Sunday Ticket rights, as they are the only bidder not to already have a relationship with the NFL. In recent months, the tech giant has landed rights to Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Friday Night Baseball and agreed a 10-year contract for the rights to all Major League Soccer (MLS) games.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation