Apple Music to Sponsor Super Bowl Halftime Show, Replacing Pepsi

Apple Music will take over as the sponsor of the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime show, replacing Pepsi as the key backer of the annual spectacle that typically draws one of the biggest single TV audiences of the year.

“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,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, in a prepared statement. “We’re looking forward to even more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.”

The NFL says more than 120 million viewers watched the halftime show that accompanied Super Bowl LVI. The extravaganza featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, marking the first time these five artists performed together on stage. Under Pepsi, other halftime performances have included The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Bruno Mars.

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But Pepsi said in May that it would not return as the halftime show’s sponsor in 2022, choosing to walk away from a decade-long association that moved the event away from a roster of primarily rock musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in favor of a new group of artists who are favored by the younger generations that advertisers and the NFL seek to court. The NFL was said to be seeking significantly higher annual payments for the sponsorship rights.

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More to come

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