Talks between the National Football League and Apple over a package of Sunday football games have dragged as the league and the tech giant have wrangled over pricing, but another deal has been added to the mix: sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show.
The N.F.L. has been seeking as much as $2.5 billion for rights to N.F.L. Sunday Ticket, about $1 billion more than what it collects from its current provider, DirecTV. As the sides squabble over a rights fee that high, Apple has agreed to be the main sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show, the league and the company said late Thursday night. They did not disclose terms of the deal.
Apple Music will replace Pepsi as sponsor in a deal that the N.F.L. has been shopping around for about $50 million, said three people familiar with the negotiations.
Becoming the primary sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show is a departure for Apple. The company has prided itself on marketing its brand differently than consumer goods companies such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser and McDonald’s, which have long histories of sponsoring sports and cultural events.