Super Bowl commercials and halftime shows have become as synonymous with the Super Bowl as, well, football itself. Through the years, we have seen some of the biggest artists in the world grace the Super Bowl stage, including Paul McCartney, No Doubt, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, and The Who. Last night’s match up between the Carolina Panthers and Super Bowl 50 champs, the Denver Broncos, saw a spirited halftime performance from Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce, which you can watch here.
So the question is, are these artists paid to peform at one of the most watched sporting events in the world? The short answer is, no, they are not paid for their time. According to this article from the New York Times, “The N.F.L. does not pay an appearance fee, though it does cover all of the expenses for the band and its often ample entourage of several dozen stagehands, family and friends.” Basically, Beyonce doesn’t get paid to perform at the Super Bowl, but she and Jay-Z likely get a three course dinner, complimentary flights, and hotel accommodations for her time.
Now, before you start feeling sorry for these artists, take into account that with roughly 115 million viewers, and massive sponsorship deals and advertisements linked to halftime performers, the artist isn’t necessarily getting the short end of the bargain. After Beyonce performed at the Super Bowl in 2013, her album sales soared by 59%, while The Who’s jumped a whopping 392% after their 2010 halftime show.
History has shown that ticket sales for Super Bowl performers has grown significantly following the event, and both Beyonce, who announced her Formation World Tour during the Super Bowl and Coldplay, whose Head Full Of Dreams Tour tickets just went on sale last week, will reap the benefits of such a public performance.
Not to mention, this is the Super Bowl we’re talking about, and being asked to follow memorable acts like these must be quite the honor, regardless of the cash incentive:
No Doubt and Sting, 2003
Paul McCartney, 2005
The Who, 2010