TikTok, the fast-growing Chinese-owned video app, is making a play for one of the most American ocasions of all: The Super Bowl pregame party.
The app teamed up with the NFL to host a virtual tailgate concert last Sunday that starred Miley Cyrus, who boasts 8.7 million followers on the platform. The NFL’s TikTok account, which touts 6 million followers of its own, streamed the pregame festivities from 2:30 PM EST, portions of which made it onto national television. In addition to Cyrus’s live performances of songs off her recently released album, TikTokers were treated to game day cooking segments, special guest appearances from NFL players, and more.
After a rocky 2020, the collaboration between TikTok and the NFL marks a milestone for the video platform, which was considered a national security threat not long ago. But TikTok and sports leagues have actually been flirting with each other for two years. In 2018, the video platform paired up with the National Basketball Association. In 2019, it became a World Series advertiser. So when the NFL opted to get skin in the TikTok game itself, it makes sense that the platform would target them for future opportunities to shine.
Finally, it can’t be denied that several young football players are not only stars on the field, but on the video platform as welll, bridging the gap between the two brands further still. Pitsburgh Steelers player Juju Smith-Schuster, for example, boasts 2.8 million followers on the platform thanks to his viral dances, often on the football field.