There are many reasons why the world's most famous entertainers clamor to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show every year, but a generous appearance fee isn't one of them.
In fact, the National Football League doesn't pay these superstars anything other than the union scale rate to perform at halftime. Performers like Jennifer Lopez, Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney, and Beyonce gladly sing and dance for the game’s 100 million viewers because it’s an incredible promotional opportunity that can translate to more online streaming, higher album sales, and more lucrative appearance fees.
The NFL does cover all of the production costs for the 12- to 15-minute shows, which can get pretty pricey. This has exceeded $10 million USD in recent years, when you add up complex staging, over-the-top lighting setups, and jazzy pyrotechnic displays.
The best gig on Earth?
- “Even the biggest names need to continually promote themselves,” explains Marc Ganis, president of consulting firm Sportscorp. “The Super Bowl halftime show is the single biggest promotional vehicle for a music star on the planet.”
- For example: In the hour following Super Bowl LII in 2018, Justin Timberlake enjoyed a 214 percent spike in Spotify streams of his music. Lady Gaga saw her album "Joanne" surge 60 spots to No. 2 on the Billboard chart after her 2017 show. And Maroon 5 raised their per-city average tour fee to $1.7 million after their 2019 Super Bowl performance.
- There has even been some discussion in recent years that performers should actually pay the NFL for the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl, but that's never happened yet.