Artists Don’t Get Paid To Do The Superbowl, So Why Do They Perform?

New_Meadowlands_Stadium_Mezz_CornerThe NFL Championship Game, better known as the Super Bowl, is an American institution. The event has garnered the highest ratings in TV history multiple times, taking 18 of the top 20 spots for a single program, according to Nielsen. In many ways, its popularity has been bolstered by the appearance of high profile celebrities during the halftime show as additional entertainment.


Before the 90s, halftime performances were led by marching bands, similar to most football games. Since then, the shows producers have created something entirely different and even more exciting, where  the list of performers have included legendary artists of the past, such as the late Michael Jackson and rock superstar, Prince, who passed earlier this year, as well current icons, like U2, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, and Madonna. Subsequently, the halftime presentation has become an event unto itself, even bigger than the game, in some respects.


In 2015, popular singer Katy Perry had the honor of headlining the show that would become the most watched to date. Last year’s show, which included performances from Coldplay and halftime alums, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars (who performed 2013 and 2014, respectively), did well but dipped slightly in overall ratings. Obviously, those involved in making the show want to continue improving on its latest successes, so the next star to capture the hearts of American viewers needs to be big.


So far, no names have been released–it still too early, after all; the season hasn’t even begun. Nevertheless, Adele claimed recently that officials reached out to her about taking the spot, and she declined. For some publications, the reason for her lack of interest became a question of money. Super Bowl performers aren’t compensated for performing, despite the millions of dollars in ad revenue alone that the show brings in. If that’s the case, however, why do artists like Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott consider it worthy of their time?


Well, to reiterate, it is the most watched program in the United States. The platform offers an incomparable reach for the performer. Subsequently, those who agree to perform use it as the promotional tool it has become. For instance, when Madonna performed during halftime in 2012, she performed a new single she’d released just three days prior, for an album that was slated to drop a month later. Similarly, Beyoncé announced a new tour each time she performed at the event, with successful results of sold out concerts around the world.


While Adele could probably do the same, it’s necessary. The singer has already sold 15 million copies of the album by January of 2016, after being available for only 2 months. Additionally, the singer headlined Glastonbury this year, and the tour in support of the album has already broken records.


NFL and Pepsi have refuted Adele’s comments about an offer, saying the talks were preliminary. At the end of the day, however, while Adele doesn’t need it, performing at Halftime is great for the resume, and an even bigger opportunity to promote a new venture.