Maroon 5 on Sunday premiered a teaser ahead of their Super Bowl LIII halftime show, hinting at the inclusion of SpongeBob Squarepants’ iconic “Sweet Victory” song.
The spongy undersea fry cook can be spotted at the 0:32 second mark in the teaser video, suggesting the halftime show will fulfill fans’ wishes to include the SpongeBob song in honor of series creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died in November at the age of 57 following complications from ALS.
A rapidly growing petition, launched months ago by fan Israel Colunga, has since garnered more than 1.1 million signatures in support of having the song performed during the Super Bowl’s halftime show as a means of paying respect to Hillenburg’s legacy and his “contributions to a generation of children.”
In December, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium — host of Super Bowl LIII — tweeted an acknowledgement of the petition, utilizing a GIF from Season 2 episode “Band Geeks,” which sees SpongeBob and friends perform a crowd-pleasing showstopper during Bikini Bottom’s Bubble Bowl.
Nickelodeon’s official YouTube page later made the entire “Sweet Victory” sequence available in high definition, earning an extra three million views in five weeks.
Neither the NFL nor producers Nickelodeon have confirmed if SpongeBob will have a presence during Super Bowl LIII’s halftime show or if the snippet of footage in the above video is a nod to the viral petition.
The children’s network remembered Hillenburg as “a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon” in a statement published in November.1comments
“Our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination.”
The National Football League has since announced Travis Scott and Big Boi will join Maroon 5 when they take the stage at Super Bowl LIII on February 3.