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Can J. Lo and Shakira Save the Super Bowl?

J.Lo and Shakira

When Jay-Z announced a partnership between his entertainment company, Roc Nation, and the N.F.L. back in August, we knew the Super Bowl halftime show was about to get, well, super good. 

Jay-Z and the National Football Association announced Roc Nation’s official role as “live music entertainment strategist,” consulting on key events, while also designing podcasts, visual albums, and organizing other productions beyond sports, according to ESPN

The rapper-mogul’s participation intrigued sports and music fans alike, especially since Jay has historically been critical of the league. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good,” he told the The New York Times

The Super Bowl is a beloved American tradition and one of the most watched events on television in the United States annually. Infusing the power of pop culture during the halftime show broadens the scope of the audience beyond followers of the sport. Lady Gaga’s performance in 2017 fetched 150 million viewers and is the “most-watched musical event of all-time.” Some (like me) only tune in for the performance and the commercials, which, by the way, cost $5.25 million for a 30-second spot on the host network, CBS, in January 2019.

However, last year’s ratings dropped to its lowest point in 11 years with 98.2 million viewers. In 2018, Nielsen Scarborough research reported just 12% of Latinos and 11% of African Americans watched or listened to game 52. 

Could Jay-Z be making a play for Latinx audiences by inking his first deal with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, two bilingual Latina musicians? The icons were confirmed today to co-headline at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2, 2020. The acquisition of the diva-duo could not be more prime or more genius.

Lopez’s clout is currently as lit as her bedazzled bodysuits—fresh off a musical tour celebrating her 50th birthday and beaming with Oscar buzz for her role in her latest box-office hit “Hustlers.” Shakira has been an international star since the ’90s earning eleven Latin Grammys and three Grammys following her crossover in 2001.

Fox will air the event live with broadcasts in 180 countries worldwide. The Latin divas could certainly boost the international appeal of the Super Bowl and help capture new Spanish-speaking fans in the US.

I’d say preliminary quarterbacking by Jay-Z looks like a touchdown in the making. 

Jessica Hoppe

Jessica Hoppe is a New York-based writer and social media strategist who founded her blog, Nueva Yorka, in 2015. She has been featured in Vogue, Yahoo, HuffPost, PopSugar, Who What Wear, Ravishly and worked as Lifestyle Editor for StyleCaster. Jessica has been passionate about writing, diversity and Latin American culture from an early age. Having grown up in a Spanish speaking home, her father is Ecuadorian and her mother is from Honduras.

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