HOLLYWOOD – It’s not the first time Miami has hosted a Super Bowl – this will be the sixth – but it will be the first one ever played under the Hard Rock Stadium name.
The big game – Feb. 2 on FOX – also comes on the heels of the October 2019 grand opening of Hard Rock Hollywood’s Guitar Hotel, part of a $1.5 billion expansion and renovation of its casino and concert venue.
So, naturally, executives at Hard Rock International and the leadership of the Seminole Tribe (HRI’s parent company) decided the time was right to create a Super Bowl commercial – also a first.
As with everything Hard Rock does – the decision was to go big.
Jennifer Lopez – the Super Bowl halftime performer – is the star of the ad, dubbed “The Hype.”
She’ll be joined by music producer DJ Khaled, former Major League Baseball star (and Lopez’ fiancé) Alex Rodriguez and music stars Pitbull and Steven Van Zandt.
The producer and director of the spot is Michael Bay. Bay is the name behind blockbuster movies like “Armageddon” and the Transformers franchise.
In the commercial, the cameras follow Lopez on a “thrilling pursuit through the world’s first Guitar Hotel … encountering a few familiar faces along the way,” an official description read.
“The Hard Rock brand has celebrated and archived iconography and memorabilia that is synonymous with the best of music and entertainment,” Lopez said in a statement. “I hope this fun, action-packed spot … will continue to add to that tradition.”
The ad will run at the end of the first half of the game. Hard Rock bought the naming rights to Hard Rock Stadium in 2016.
“I think we’ve created something that will be unique. We know it will drive traffic to our facilities,” Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman and CEO of Seminole Gaming, said. “But it’s more about making the statement that the Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock do things on a global basis at the highest level.”
Allen and Tribal leadership spoke at a press conference about the commercial Jan. 29 outside of the Oculus Bar at the Hard Rock Hollywood.
While Allen didn’t disclose the cost of the ad, the average price for a 30-second spot in this year’s Super Bowl is reportedly $5.6 million.
“We’re excited to be here today. We’re excited for this weekend. We’re also excited to see the outcome of the game,” Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr. said. “These lands once were roamed by us before all these buildings were built. It’s funny that we used to chase pigs around here for dinner, and now we’re throwing a pig skin back and forth on Sunday to see who wins. And, good luck Chiefs!”
Brighton Board Rep. Larry Howard also made an appearance at the press conference.
“We never dreamed of anything like this,” he said, regarding all the hoopla surrounding the Guitar Hotel and Super Bowl. “We were just thinking about how we were going to make it to the next day.”
Allen played a 15-second tease of the ad. He said there will be a 60-second version, and eventually a two and a half minute spot that would be online.
“More than 100 million people will view the game – not including online components,” Allen said. “If we’re going to be involved in something, we want to do it world-class. We wanted to create a story.”
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was originally in the commercial’s helicopter scene. But Allen said a last minute edit deleted the scene, due to the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that claimed the lives of basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others.
“The decision was made to reshoot portions of the commercial to take out the scene – out of sensitivity to the tragedy,” Allen said.
Allen also showed off the newest additions to Hard Rock’s memorabilia collection that will be added as a result of the commercial.
The celebrities who were in the spot donated clothing and other items, including a “bling cup” used by Lopez.
Giovanni Taliaferro, HRI’s director of memorabilia and design, said Hard Rock is approaching 84,000 pieces in its vault and warehouse located in a 100,000-plus-square-foot facility on the Hollywood Reservation.
Hard Rock owns the largest collection of music memorabilia and pop culture artifacts in the world, he said.
Hard Rock has 12 casinos, 31 hotels and 251 Hard Rock Café locations, and a presence in 76 countries.
More is at hardrock.com.