The NFL took some time out from its 2013 Kickoff Weekend games for a special entertainment announcement, naming Grammy Award-winner Bruno Mars as the lead performer in the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be broadcast on Fox and is scheduled for February 2, 2014, in MetLife Stadium, home venue for the New York Giants and Jets.

“We’re going to the Super Bowl—Pepsi Halftime Show,” Mars tweeted out to his nearly 17 million followers on Twitter on Sunday.

Mars follows in the Super Bowl halftime footsteps of such performers as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, The Black Eyed Peas, Madonna and Beyoncé, who was the star of the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show this past February. More than 110 million people watched the Beyoncé performance during Super Bowl XLVII, according to the NFL.

The Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show is an NFL Network Production and will be executive produced by Ricky Kirshner and directed by Hamish Hamilton.

The unveiling of the Super Bowl halftime lead entertainer is usually not done until mid-season, but the NFL and Pepsi said that the “unprecedented” timing of this year’s announcement was moved up to take advantage of season-long marketing activations.

“Fans are encouraged to tune into Fox Sports throughout the season to see what surprises Bruno Mars has in store for this historic Halftime Show,” the NFL said in a statement.

Pepsi said it would continue its “Are You Fan Enough?” campaign during the 2013 season with activations that would “culminate at halftime” of Super Bowl XLVIII.

Although born and raised in Hawaii, Mars—whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez—can trace his roots back to New York: His dad, Peter, is from Brooklyn. Mars has sold more than 100 million records worldwide as a singer, producer and songwriter.

The announcement was made live from Times Square in New York on Sunday during “Fox NFL Sunday.”

Brief Take: Pepsi and the NFL revealed Bruno Mars as the Super Bowl halftime performer on the first Sunday of the season, months ahead of the traditional time frame, to jump-start fan, consumer and media interest in Pepsi and Fox marketing leading up to what could be the most-watched and highest-rated Super Bowl in NFL history.


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