The Michael Jackson Superbowl halftime show in 1993 redefined why people watched the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl for the 1992 regular season was played between Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills in January 1993 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Cowboys defeated the Bills in a decisive victory of 52-17. It was the third of what would be four straight Superbowl losses for the Bills, and the first of what would be two straight Superbowl wins for the Cowboys.
Super Bowl XXVII, is best remembered for its halftime show featuring Michael Jackson at the height of his career, following his album Dangerous.
After television viewer numbers had dipped in previous years, the National Football League (NFL) began to search for ways that they could increase the number of people watching the game. Attempts were made to get Michael Jackson to perform at the show, although they were initially unsuccessful, Jackson and his management company did eventually agree to play at the half-time show in exchange for the NFL donating over $100,000 to Jackson’s personal charities as well as allocate commercial time during the game for the charities.
Michael Jackson, descended from the top of the Rose Bowl Stadium in a rocket pack in front of a crowd of almost 100,00 people stood silently for over two minutes before breaking into Jam, followed by Billie Jean, Black or White, We are the World and finally Heal the World.
The Michael Jackson Superbowl halftime show was a resounding success, with viewers figures increasing for the first time ever during the half-time period, a trend which has since continued.
Large sums of money were donated to the various charities that Michael Jackson promoted through the video montages on a screen behind him during his performance.
Michael Jackson’s appearance marked a trend for the NFL to use big-name musicians and performers for the entertainment section of the half-time show to attract more viewers and interest in the event. Today, one of the most publicized aspects of the Super Bowl are the headline acts, with many viewers tuning in the for half-time show rather than the game itself.