Why the NFL and Pepsi Booked – But Didn’t Pay – Bruno Mars for Super Bowl XLVIII


(from Billboard, October 14, 2013) Sarah Moll works for the NFL and is in charge of finding the entertainment for the Super Bowl halftime show. She had seen Bruno Mars three times, and halfway through the second concert, Moll knew she wanted Mars to perform in 2014 for the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. She met with him and thinks he is perfect for the part just from his personality. All three concerts that Moll saw this summer were from the same tour, but each show was different and left her with a new perspective. This year was the earliest that the performer has ever been announced. It was revealed on September 8th that Bruno Mars would be singing. Super Bowl halftime performers are not paid, but the NFL does pay for their travel and production costs.

Although Sarah Moll is very excited to have Mars perform, others are not so sure. People are concerned because he isn’t connected to New Jersey, where Super Bowl XLVIII is taking place, in any way. They also think that he is not as big as the other performers to come before him such as Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, and The Rolling Stones. On the other hand, Adam Harter, VP of Consumer Engagement with Pepsi, says that he is very talented, and it will help that he has global appeal. Harter also thinks he will appeal to many people because his audiences are very diverse.

The show may be a little different from the previous years with the possibility of another act performing before Bruno Mars. This event is also a chance for the performers to promote new products because of the many viewers. In 2012, the audience reached 112.5 million viewers which was a record. In the past, Beyoncé announced a tour on the back of her outfit and Madonna and Bruce Springsteen have released singles or albums around the time of their performance. Camille Hackney, Exec VP of Atlantic Records Brand Partnership, says that they have similar plans to promote a new product with Bruno, but she will not release any information on what it will be.