The brand plans to focus more on digital media as broadcast TV audiences dwindle and Super Bowl’s halftime show faces challenges from social media, streaming, and other platforms.
In a statement, Pepsi said ending the partnership reflects a “shift to bring unprecedented music and entertainment experiences” to consumers “where they are now, and where they will be in the future.”
Over the past decade, Pepsi half-time sponsorship has brought 12-minute performances of 26 musical acts with 167 Grammys and 1,000 hit songs between them. The brand also introduced the first halftime show trailer and the national advertising campaign to promote the event. For its efforts, Pepsi received the most buzz on Twitter among all Big Game advertisers for three years in a row, but it did not always get a reliable cross-section of viewers.
The halftime show’s audience peaked at 120.7 million for Katy Perry in 2015 but dipped to 96.7 million for The Weeknd in 2021. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, and company bumped the viewership back to 103.4 million last year.
The brand indicated that its next cohort will likely be found on YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms where they’re already consuming content year-round. Pepsi will remain the NFL’s official soft drink with marketing across TV, digital, social, retail, and more, and will continue to partner with the league’s players and teams.
Pepsi’s parent company, PepsiCo, has also agreed to a multi-year extension of NFL partnerships with its Gatorade and Quaker brands. That deal comes with its Frito-Lay segment, which includes snacks such as Doritos, Cheetos, and Lay’s. The company declined to disclose the length of these deals.