Why Is It Called the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Ever wondered why the Super Bowl at halftime will come with the Apple logo? Here's why the company gets its name linked to Usher's upcoming performance.

The moment Usher graces the middle of the Allegiant Stadium field on Sunday, it’ll be for the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.

But why does the break in the big game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs carry that moniker? And has the word “Apple” always been attached to the annual NFL event, especially for halftime?

Here’s a deeper dive.

Explaining the Title of the Super Bowl Halftime Show

The streaming service Apple Music, and the Apple company in general, are the sponsors of the big entertainment event.

Apple officially took over as the chief sponsor in 2022. For the past decade, the Pepsi company was the official halftime sponsor.

That means the 2021 season Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams represents the final time Pepsi was responsible for advertising for the halftime show. Pepsi helped release the teaser video for Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige’s performance ahead of Super Bowl 56. Pepsi then helped put on the show at SoFi Stadium that also featured Grammy nominee Anderson Paak and legendary rapper 50 Cent.

Apple officially took control of halftime sponsorship duties following the Rams’ win over the Bengals, ending a decade-long run for the iconic soda brand. Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance in Glendale, Arizona, was the first halftime show with the Apple logo attached to it.

Now, Usher’s upcoming performance will qualify as the second.

Looking at Apple’s Super Bowl History, Plus Promotion for Usher

It’s not the first time Apple and the Super Bowl have been associated together.

Thirty years ago, Apple delivered what was hailed as “the greatest Super Bowl commercial” ever. The theme was a homage to the George Orwell novel “1984” that came with a similar dystopian backdrop.

The commercial was equally popular given the timing of its release — the year 1984 and the height of the Cold War. The purpose was to generate hype for the new Macintosh computers, and the spot ended with the tag line “You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’”

Fifteen years after “1984,” Apple tried to recreate a similar Super Bowl ad with its eerie “HAL” commercial. This one came with a “2001: A Space Odyssey” theme. This commercial was released amid the Y2K Bug scare — which prompted Apple to capitalize on the hype.

Now, Apple has gone with a music-centered touch ahead in the first two years of its current sponsorship.

The tech-driven company — known for producing iPhones and iPads and providing a music streaming platform — is already promoting Usher’s much-anticipated performance ahead of Sunday.

The company rolled out a humorous seven-minute teaser video helping promote Usher’s halftime show. In the short film, Usher’s friends Lil’ Jon, Ludacris, and Oscar winner Taraji P. Henson are on the lookout for the R&B singer, who has suddenly gone missing in Sin City. Hollywood legend Wesley Snipes and popular Las Vegas act Blue Man Group also appear in search of Usher’s whereabouts.

How Long Can Apple Have Super Bowl Halftime Rights?

Usher’s performance certainly won’t be the last Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.

The company struck a deal to have the exclusive naming rights in September 2022. Apple swooped in after Pepsi opted not to renew its contract to sponsor the halftime festivities.

MORE: Super Bowl LVIII Predictions From the Entire PFN Staff

What’s in the contract? Here are the details:

  • Apple signed for five years total, allowing them also to host Super Bowl 59-61 halftime events.
  • The deal is worth $50 million annually.
  • The idea of the signing, per The Sports Business Journal, was to “dramatically increase the content and media opportunities around the 12-minute concert.”

Long story short, viewers who look forward to halftime of the Super Bowl will get used to the Apple logo and the company’s promotions between now and 2027.

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