I think it’s one of the most overrated gigs of the year. It’s especially overrated if you’re a hardcore football fan.
I’m of course talking about the halftime show at the Super Bowl. Football fans spend all season using halftimes to go to the bathroom, reheat nachos, and/or watch another game. But for the Super Bowl we all of sudden must endure several minutes of a performer who has nothing to do with the sport, game, or the two teams playing.
This year, the stage for the Super Bowl halftime show has been handed to Katy Perry. Super Bowl XLIX is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona.
I’ll be honest; I don’t watch the Super Bowl for the halftime entertainment. I watch it because I love football. In fact, I don’t even go to Super Bowl parties anymore because I don’t want to be distracted from the game.
While I eagerly await the Super Bowl to crown a new NFL champion, many await the Big Game to experience a larger-than-life spectacle. The NFL’s ultimate annual contest is the world’s biggest sporting event and that makes its halftime show, contrary to my opinion, relevant, important, and newsworthy.
In the wake of the infamous wardrobe malfunction of 2004, the NFL booked a plethora of veteran rockers used to playing large stadiums: Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty & the Heartbreaks, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and The Who.
In 2011, with the image of Janet Jackson’s nipple nearly forgotten, the league decided to go back to attracting younger audiences. To that aim they tapped The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Madonna, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, and Bruno Mars (they also threw in Slash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers for good measure). In other words, Katy Perry’s selection wasn’t a matter of “if” but a matter of “when.”
Her selection was immediately greeted with open arms. ABC News posted an article listing 5 reasons why Katy Perry was “the obvious choice.” Their reasons are: her costumes are always out of this world, her sets don’t disappoint, she’s promising animal involvement, she loves her fans, and her Twitter presence alone will create a stir. It’s a favorable write up but those aren’t reasons. They’re descriptions.
The Katy Perry love affair continued on CNN.com. They ran down three reasons why Perry will “kill it.”
The first is “she’s got energetic, exuberant pop.” Hard to argue with that statement as Katy Perry has nine number one hits to her credit.
CNN’s second reason is “everyone from your grandma to your 3-year-old nephew knows her music.” I disagree. In the 1960s everyone knew what The Beatles sounded like, even those that didn’t like them. Nowadays, you can be a major pop star with nine number one hits and few people outside of your immediate fan base know what you sound like.
The news network’s final reason is the best: “She gives a show-stopping performance.” No one can argue with that. Say what you will about her music (and her aesthetic), but the girl can flat out get it done on stage.
I’d like to say that on Super Bowl Sunday she needs to deliver the performance of a lifetime but that’s not true. It was true 20 years ago but not anymore. The bigger train wreck you are the more attention you’ll get. During her halftime performance, Perry can lip sync and fall off the stage and her celebrity will only increase.
Bottom line, Perry checks a lot of boxes for the NFL. She’s young, popular, and safe—unless you object to cleavage and songs about chicks kissing one another. She’s a social media über star; Katy Perry’s Twitter account has over 60 million followers—the most of any celebrity.
As we learned from ABC News and CNN, the singer is a media magnet. She forgets to cover her mouth during a sneeze and it’s all over the internet. There will probably be more ink about her performing at the Super Bowl then there will be about the two teams actually playing in the game.
Her immense celebrity will make her recognizable to older football fans—they may not know her music but they will at least know her name.
Male football fans may prefer a hard rocking band like Bon Jovi, or country music superstar Kenny Chesney, but at least with Katy Perry they’ll get some eye candy.
Where she’ll really pay huge dividends for the NFL is her ability to attract young women. While a lot of chicks love the NFL I’m sure the league’s smallest demographics are girls/women in their tweens, teens, and early twenties.
If you’re going to have a huge halftime show you might as well use it to draw viewers that might not otherwise check out the game. Sure, the Super Bowl is a pop culture event that transcends sports, but booking Katy Perry might be enough to entice some people to skip the mall and watch the Big Game instead.
That’s why for the third time in four years the Super Bowl halftime show will set a record. In 2012, Madonna attracted 114 million viewers. In 2013, Mars broke that record with 115.3 million pair of eyeballs. In 2014, look for Katy Perry to break the 117 million mark.