Apple Music will sponsor the next Super Bowl halftime show, the company announced early Friday morning. It marks the first time since Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 that Pepsi didn't sponsor the event.
"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," Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats, said in a statement. "We're looking forward to even more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show."
Pepsi ended its decade-long sponsorship of the halftime show earlier this year when the company's new contract with the NFL didn't include the naming rights it had held since 2013. It's unclear why Pepsi walked away or what Apple will pay, but Variety reported that the league was asking for "significantly higher annual payments for the sponsorship rights." Pepsi's original 10-year contract with the NFL cost the company a reported $10.3 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"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." Nana-Yaw Asamoah, SVP of Partner Strategy for the NFL, said.
Viewership for the Super Bowl and its halftime soared in 2022. Super Bowl LVI became the most-watched show in five years, according to NBC Sports, after 112.3 million tuned in on television and streaming platforms. Last year's halftime show, which featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent – also averaged 103.4 million viewers. That was 7 percent more than the previous year.
This year's Super Bowl will take place on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. It's unknown who will headline the halftime show.