Super Bowl halftime show gets new sponsor

Apple Music has signed on to become the named sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show.

The deal starts Feb. 12, 2023, at Super Bowl LVII, slated to be played in Glendale, Arizona.

Apple has reportedly signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the show, but exact terms of the deal, including financials, were not announced.

The 2021 Super Bowl halftime show featured multiple performers.

“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,” said Nana-Yaw Asamoah, SVP of partner strategy for the NFL, in a statement.

The NFL controls the sponsorship rights to the halftime show and plays a key role in selecting artists for it each year as well. Naming rights for the halftime show is likely pricey, given that traditional commercial spots are reportedly selling for more than $7 million in some cases. 

The Super Bowl halftime show is typically the most watched televised musical performance of the year, with an estimated 120 million tuning into for 2022’s multi-artist extravaganza. 

Apple’s deal includes having the show officially be billed as the “Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show” and having its logo included on air for whoever is the rights-holding broadcaster for each year the deal lasts. 

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Rights to the Super Bowl typically rotate through multiple networks, with Fox’s turn coming in 2023. ABC hasn’t been in the mix since it last broadcast the big game in 2006, but is expected to re-join the rotation in 2027.

The NFL rakes in an estimated $3 billion each year from the network airing the game.

As part of their agreements with the NFL, the networks agree to showcase the halftime show’s sponsor but can also make their own deals with advertisers separately, including selling naming rights to its coverage as well as selling commercial spots, which are traditionally some of the most expensive ad time to buy. 

In some cases, brands have agreements with the NFL that can supersede what the networks can do. For example, Anheuser-Busch had been the exclusive alcohol sponsor for over 30 years before backing out of that deal earlier in 2022. This barred other alcohol brands from advertising during national breaks.

A classic Pepsi logo is shown during the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show.

Pepsi had previously been the sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show for 10 years, during which time much of its other marketing and advertising strategy centered around music and artists. The company, which also owns snack food giant Frito-Lay, is still expected to advertise during the game and has retained the title of official soft drink of the NFL under a separate agreement with the league.

The featured artist or artists have not been decided yet, though Apple plans to leverage its social media channels to announce that and other details in the coming months.

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