Earlier this year, Apple entered the sports industry with the launch of the 2022 “Friday Night Baseball” season on Apple TV+ in April. It is also reported that the tech giant is set to finalize a deal with the NFL to stream “Sunday Ticket” games.
While we wait for the “Sunday Ticket” deal to come through, a new report by The New York Times claims that Apple has allegedly signed a $50 million deal to sponsor the next Super Bowl halftime show.
Apple Music to replace Pepsi as the main sponsor for the NFL Super Bowl halftime show
Cupertino tech giant and the league finalized the deal on Thursday night but did not disclose its terms. However, people familiar with the matter told the publisher that “Apple Music will replace Pepsi as sponsor in a deal that the N.F.L. has been shopping around for about $50 million.”
The new sponsorship deal is termed as a “departure” for the tech giant as it usually does not use the traditional marketing strategies used by Budweiser, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola to sponsor cultural and sports events.
Initially, the new sponsorship deal was not part of the discussion between the league and the tech giant over Sunday games but popped up during the course. It is expected to deepen the tech giant’s ties in the sports business.
The idea of Apple’s sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show bubbled up in the course of the talks as a way to deepen the business ties. The N.F.L. needed a replacement for Pepsi and recognized that Apple had tapped its marketing budget to win rights to live sports. The company offered Major League Baseball $55 million in rights fees for two weekly Friday baseball games, and an additional $30 million in advertising, according to two people familiar with the agreement.
However, the sponsorship discussion led to the delay in the release of the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show’s performers: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and Eminem. Jay-Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation will continue to produce and organize the event but the tech giant will have a say as well.
Jay-Z and Roc Nation are expected to continue to take the lead on selecting artists and choosing performers for the event, but Apple will be able to weigh in on the direction of the show, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The report also mentions that talks between the two partners over Sunday Ticket football games have “dragged” over pricing issues. Apple is showing reluctance in agreeing to NFL’s hefty $2.5 billion package for rights which is $1 billion more than what it currently gets from DirecTV.
The N.F.L. has signaled its frustration with Apple by reaching out to representatives at other media companies to encourage them to put forward a bid, according to two people familiar with the outreach. But some of those companies have been wary of becoming a tool that the N.F.L. can use to induce a bigger offer from Apple.
“While the foundation and cornerstones of the deal are in place, the devil is always in the details, particularly in a deal that has complex elements that extend beyond the historic Sunday Ticket rights,” said William Mao, a media rights consultant at Octagon, a sports and entertainment agency.