Why Taylor Swift fans are freaking out over a hidden NFL Super Bowl midnight show ad

Everything the NFL does from a marketing perspective is carefully designed and regulated, and designed to send a clear message. While it is sometimes misleading (ÑFL), there is always a reason behind it.

The same really goes for Taylor Swift, who has created such a huge brand of herself that she doesn’t even have to make new music. She re-recorded many of her early albums, and now has a new album (“Midnight”) to be released on October 21.

Now, why are the NFL and Taylor Swift comparisons drawn in these two opening paragraphs? Well, because the two might be making a big announcement together very soon.

Those who log on to Twitter Friday may find themselves completely thrown out by Swift fans, as the NFL announced a multi-year partnership with Apple Music for the Super Bowl at — wait for it — midnight last night.

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Now, for those unfamiliar with Swift fans, they’re almost always about one notch away from becoming Charlie Day looking for Pepe Silvia. But some things here line up. For example, Swift’s relationship with Coca-Cola prevented her from hosting a Super Bowl halftime show when Pepsi sponsored him. So now we’re two-for-two on the things Swift would prefer to do.

Now, Swift has a complicated history with Apple. In 2015, it refused to allow Apple Music to stream its then-latest release “1989,” which literally changed how Apple worked with its artists. Relationships there seem to have been at least smoothed out, so it doesn’t seem like a conflict of interest.

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Previous Super Bowl halftime shows

The NFL has been all over the map in how it handles bookings for its shows in recent years, sometimes looking for a local glow and sometimes looking for the biggest name possible.

In 2020, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira shared the reservation in Miami where Puerto Rico and Colombia were the leaders, in 2021 The Weeknd got the nod in Tampa Bay (unfortunately, the NFL didn’t wait until the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, though… that “After Hours” will be four years old by then), and in 2022 Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar were representing Los Angeles with the help of Mary J. I mention Anderson Buck on drums.)

So if we try to deduce from the tea leaves, maybe the NFL does something “biennial” and go to the local glow one year and pop stars the next. Or, more likely, he does what he thinks will be greater.

Here’s a look at the headlines for the Super Bowl halftime shows and their latest releases.

year performer The latest version
2022 Dr. Dre Compton (August 7, 2015)
2021 weekend After Hours (March 20, 2020)
2020 Shakira, Jennifer Lopez El Dorado (May 26, 2017), AKA (June 13, 2014)
2019 Maroon 5 The Red Pill Blues (November 3, 2017)
2018 Justin Timberlake Jungle Man (February 2, 2018)
2017 lady gaga June (October 21, 2016)
2016 bad play A head full of dreams (December 4, 2015)
2015 Katy Perry Post (October 18, 2013)
2014 Bruno Mars Non-Orthodox musician (December 7, 2012)
2013 Beyonce 4 (June 24, 2011)

If we were to discern some kind of style from this (and yes, we should), Swift’s October 21 release date would coincide with the release dates of some of those, including Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry — three of pop’s biggest acts. On this list – but it can’t be stressed enough pioneer stretching.

Swift hasn’t toured since the Reputation Stadium Tour, an international event in 2018. There is speculation that she is gearing up for a 2023 tour with her latest albums ‘Lover’, ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evrmore’. Perhaps this could be related to that.

There is still some guesswork, as the NFL does not generally announce who will perform until later in the season. Don’t expect that to discourage persistent speculation. Swift has some of the most frantic fans on the planet, and that would be a huge feather in a pop star’s hat.

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