Sprint to Sponsor the Show

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Are you ready for some old-time rock 'n' roll? The NFL is.
It’s official -- the NFL has announced the Rolling Stones as the Super Bowl halftime show headliner Feb. 5 at Detroit’s Ford Field. And while the Stones are certainly a hot tour ticket -- their current “A Bigger Bang” go round is commanding as much as $450 a head -- we were pretty convinced with Sprint sponsoring the show that it would be more youth-oriented than last year’s Ameriquest-sponsored Paul McCartney performance. But alas, the geezer jokes will live on.

Super Bowl 06
Photo: AP

Of course, the Stones are no strangers to the National Football League, what with having performed during the September opener and participating in Monday Night Football campaigns. Apparently, though, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are not as trustworthy as an ex-Beatle. Unlike last year when Paul McCartney performed live, Variety is reporting there’ll be a delay of between five and 10 seconds in the halftime show so the NFL can avoid a repeat of the controversy that ensued when one of Janet Jackson’s breasts was exposed briefly on the live show two years ago. After all, nobody wants to see Richards dropping his pants at his age. But the network most likely doesn’t want the rockers to call out American conservatives as “full of sh*t,” as they do in their new song, “Sweet Neocon.”

Incidentally, it’s also intriguing that Ameriquest, which sponsored last year’s show but bowed out of its option for a second year, recently inked a high-profile deal to sponsor the Stones’ U.S. concert tour and has been using the band in some of its national advertising from DDB, Los Angeles.

Of course the underexposed Stones also probably hope the show boosts the dismal sales of its new album “A Bigger Bang." Don’t feel too bad for them, though. As the San Jose Mercury News reported earlier this month, the Stones’ new album may have sold fewer than 300,000 copies since its September release, but on tour the band will sell eight times that many tickets [per concert] at prices almost 10 times greater than the album's cost.

And to think, we get to see them for free Feb. 5.

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