Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
February 1, 2014: Back in 2002, U2 starred in the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVI in the SuperDome in New Orleans. The playlist included "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Beautiful Day" and "MLK."
U2 will be back in the Super Bowl, not as halftime performers, but as one of the diving forces behind (RED), designed to raise awareness for and drive contributions to the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.
Beginning on Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday, and for a period of more than 24 hours, a new U2 song, "Invisible," will be available globally via iTunes as a free download to benefit (RED). The free download begins on Feb. 2 at 6 PM (ET) just before the start of the game and runs until 12:59 PM (ET) on Feb. 3.
(RED) and U2 have established a YouTube destination to see a video of the iconic band playing "Invincible," which goes live prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos begins. (See it here.)
A 60-second spot from Bank of America featuring the song will air during Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox.
For every download, the Global Fund — via (RED) — will receive a $1 donation from Bank of America with the total donation up to $2 million.
U2 also has set up a hash tag destination, #NewU2Song, via its Twitter account to help drive awareness.
A new alliance with Bank of America, which has committed $10 million to (RED), has also resulted in a $10 million match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $1 million each from both SAP and South Africa's Motsepe Family, bringing the total commitment to $22 million.
According to (RED), "700 babies are born with HIV every day. By 2015, that number can be close to zero."
The Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and malaria has generated more than $240 million since being founded in 2006 by U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver. The groups said that "100% of the funds raised by (RED) go to the Global Fund as no overheads are removed."
(RED) said funds are fighting AIDS in eight African countries — Rwanda, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa — where donations pay for AIDS treatment, testing and prevention services, with a focus on ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV.