Beyonce worked her Bey magic on Super Bowl fans in 2013 and 2016 — and even for a beloved performer who calls the Obama family big fans and who has millions of devoted followers — there’s little doubt that Beyonce’s brand recognition soared after her performances. Fact is when a performer plays the Super Bowl, it elevates their profile, no matter how high it was to begin with. The late Prince was a household name in 2007 when he took the Super Bowl stage and proceeded to broaden his appeal by millions of fans in mere minutes. It’s a big — make that the biggest — platform in music. How much does the NFL pay these performers? It’s very likely that the money flows the other way. The NFL can charge upwards of $5 million for a Super Bowl ad that lasts 30 seconds. You think they’re just giving away 20 minutes in the middle of the game for free? Or that the NFL is, gulp, laying out cash for that time. Nope. Though the financial deals with halftime performers are undisclosed.
Recent news that hip hop star (and Beyonce husband) Jay Z may have turned down the opportunity to play the 2018 Super Bowl brings to light the fact that it’s a marketing decision, not an anointing. How much is the spot worth to a performer like Jay Z? Maybe not enough to pay the NFL for the pleasure. One NBC story wonders “if it’s true that the league has been making aggressive financial requests (including a percentage of concert ticket sales) based on the potential value to the artist of performing on the biggest platform in music.” Why wouldn’t the NFL be aggressive? Beyonce had record tours after her Super Bowl performances. It’d be interesting to know how much she paid the NFL to help her promote them.