SBD/September 9, 2013/Events and Attractions

Locked Out Of Heaven, Locked Into The Super Bowl: Bruno Mars To Play At Halftime

Mars said his selection as performer for the Super Bowl halftime show is an honor
Bruno Mars has been confirmed as the halftime act for Super Bowl XLVIII and he will "be the youngest performer in recent years to helm" the show, according to Ray Rahman of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. The past decade’s list of main acts have included Beyoncé, Prince, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney -- "all of whom have had slightly-to-significantly more experience than the 27-year-old Mars." Given Mars' "cuddly, retro-pop appeal, he’s a perfect fit for the massively broad, general audience that the world’s highest-rated event of the year typically commands" (EW.com, 9/8). In Newark, Jay Lustig wrote picking Mars -- and "overlooking artists with stronger ties to the New Jersey/New York area, including Bon Jovi and Billy Joel -- solidifies a trend towards youth in halftime performers" (NJ.com, 9/8). THE MMQB's Peter King writes, "Halftime shows are done to attract a non-football audience, including the international audience. Halftime shows are designed to hit a different demographic. I couldn’t tell you the difference between Bruno Mars and a Mars bar. But 56-year-old men aren’t the focus of the league when it comes to halftime shows at the Super Bowl" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/9). Mars joined the cast of "Fox NFL Sunday" to discuss the halftime show and said, "It's an honor. We just got off tour so being able to come to New York City and announce this right now is incredible. We're celebrating for sure" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 9/8).

JERSEY SORE: In L.A., Flint & Kennedy wrote the New Jersey locale would "seem to require a homegrown act." However, Bruce Springsteen has "already played the Super Bowl and Bon Jovi is in disarray." Mars "might not be at the mega-star status of recent headliners ... but he's solidified himself as a scene-stealing performer" (LATIMES.com, 9/6). NBC's Natalie Morales noted some fans did not see Mars "as a good fit for the Super Bowl" and others wanted "a little more of a New Jersey/New York act." But Morales said Mars is "great live performer" and an "incredible live show." NBC's Matt Lauer: "Would it be great if for his last song he would be joined by Springsteen and Bon Jovi? That would be pretty cool" ("Today," NBC, 9/9).

BUILDING THE BUZZ: BILLBOARD's Andrew Hampp noted yesterday's news marks the "earliest reveal of a Halftime performer yet (by way [of] recent example, Beyoncé was revealed in October, while Madonna was announced after Thanksgiving)." Pepsi will "leverage the anticipation all NFL season long with a series of planned events called 'Are You Fan Enough'" (BILLBOARD.com, 9/8). USA TODAY's Laura Petrecca notes announcing the act five months before the game gives Fox, the NFL and halftime sponsor Pepsi "the whole season to hype their tie-ins." Pepsi North America CMO Simon Lowden said, "The more time we have, the more fun we can have." NFL Network Senior VP/Programming & Production Mark Quenzel said that the league will "capitalize on the fact that the performance will be in an open-air venue, rather than in a dome." He said the show will include "things that you historically would not expect for Super Bowl halftime" (USA TODAY, 9/9). In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports Pepsi's activation leading up to the show, billed as "Bruno Mars and Friends," will allow Pepsi "to generate considerable consumer interest and Web traffic as additional artists are revealed." Consumers also are expected to "be able to win access to rehearsals and other behind-the-scenes opportunities" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/9 issue).
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