JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Marching bands from two historically Black universities are being featured in a new PepsiCo TV commercial that airs for the first time this weekend.
Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South and Florida A&M University's Marching 100 are highlighted in a 60-second spot called “The Halftime Game."
“We know that in HBCU culture, the game is not just about football, but also the energy, hype and history these bands bring to halftime and beyond,” Chauncey Hamlett, vice president and chief marketing officer for Pepsi Beverages South Division, said in a news release Thursday.
“The Halftime Game” runs for the first time Saturday on ESPN 2 during the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game. It will air across SWAC media, including on ABC, during the Dec. 18 Cricket Celebration Bowl.
The ad was directed by Alan Ferguson, an HBCU alumnus.
PepsiCo's $3 million commercial is part of a more than $570 million commitment by the company over the next five years as part of its “Racial Equality Journey” announced in 2020, according to the news release.
Jackson State University's director of bands, Roderick Little, said the ad is an “outstanding opportunity” for his students and the university.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge what this affiliation means for all HBCU band programs regarding exposure that could garner the support of future donors and corporate sponsors,” Little said.