Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Bruno Mars in NY state of mind

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars (Credit: Bruno Mars (Getty))

The choice of Bruno Mars for the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show predictably led to some head-scratching from New York-area types who thought someone who grew up in or around our humble burg might have been up to the job.

True, Mr. Mars’ father was born in Brooklyn, but the man himself is from down the road a piece . . . in Hawaii!

Fair question. But it ignores the reality that even though SB48 will be unique because of the potential for very cold weather, the real point of this and every other modern halftime extravaganza remains the same: marketing.

Actually, that’s the point of the Super Bowl in general, an event that largely exists in a generic American media universe that does not necessarily want or need local ties.

By announcing the headliner so early, halftime sponsor Pepsi hopes to squeeze five months worth of “consumer engagement opportunities’’ out of Mars and his show, as Sports Business Journal put it.

Adam Harter, Pepsi’s VP of consumer engagement, told SBJ that last year’s halftime show “generated five billion brand impressions . . . Announcing the halftime talent sooner extends our ability to leverage the NFL.’’

In other words, it’s nothing personal, fans of Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, Billy Joel, et al. Just business.

Tags: SB48 , super bowl

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