WASHINGTON — The NFL's announcement of a new sponsor for the Super Bowl halftime show has Taylor Swift fans in a frenzy, speculating that the pop star will headline the 2023 performance.
The announcement that Apple Music would be replacing Pepsi, which sponsored the show for the past 10 years, seems pretty straight forward on the surface.
But if you ask Taylor Swift's fans, the timing of that development is what's key. That's because the NFL and Apple Music shared the news at midnight Eastern. Swift's new album is called "Midnights," so she's been making a lot of references lately to midnight, ever since she suddenly announced the project last month at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.
By Friday afternoon, Taylor Swift was trending on Twitter as Variety, PEOPLE and TMZ dropped conflicting reports on whether or not the Super Bowl halftime show was locked in.
Variety initially reported "three sources close to the situation" said "it's happening," but then they updated the story to include how other close sources said it's not happening. And both PEOPLE and TMZ published separate reports Friday afternoon that the superstar was not scheduled to hit the Super Bowl stage next February in Glendale, Arizona.
Fans may not need to wait too long to find out whether or not the rumors are true. Two of the last three Super Bowls announced the halftime show headliners right around the end of September.
Last year, the NFL and Jay-Z's Roc Nation announced on Sept. 30 that Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar would be performing for the first time on stage together at the 2022 Super Bowl. Over 120 million viewers watched last February's halftime show.
How much do performers get paid for the Super Bowl halftime show?
While they might not leave with a check from the NFL, the true benefit of performing at the halftime show is worldwide exposure that leads to more music sales and streaming.
For instance, The Weeknd's music sales soared by 385% in the wake of his performance at the 2021 Super Bowl, according to Billboard. Streaming of his songs on apps like Spotify and Apple Music increased by around 41%, Billboard reported.