Why artist performs for free at NFL Super Bowl


JF-Expert Member
Nov 4, 2016
Apple Music pays the NFL $50 million annually to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show.

But Usher won't get any of that money.

Instead, he'll perform for free, leveraging the exposure to gain followers, sell tickets, and increase streaming numbers.

Here's how it works 👇

Some of the world's most famous artists have performed at the Super Bowl:

• Prince
• Michael Jackson
• Bruce Springsteen
• Beyonce
• Justin Timberlake
• The Rolling Stones
• Rihanna

But NONE of these artists were paid.

Here's how the financials work:

• NFL signs a $50M sponsorship deal
• Artists get a ~$15 million production budget

This budget covers 2,000 to 3,000 part-time workers, including set design, security, dancers, and marketing.

But artists don't get any of the money.

In fact, some artists end up spending millions of dollars of their own money on the performance.

The Weeknd, for instance, spent $7 million of personal cash on his show at Super Bowl 55, and Dr. Dre reportedly spent a similar amount in 2022.

So why do they do it?


The Super Bowl is watched by 115 million people.

Brands will spend $7 million for 30-second commercials during this year’s game, yet Usher will receive an uninterrupted 13-minute commercial for free.

That is more valuable than his performance fee.

And the data backs it up.

• Justin Timberlake saw a 534% increase in music sales after Super Bowl 52.
• Travis Scott’s performance fee doubled from $500,000 to $1 million after Super Bowl 53.
• Jennifer Lopez and Shakira gained 3 million Instagram followers after Super Bowl 54.

Rihanna's numbers were mind-blowing, too:

• No. 1 most-streamed artist globally
• 17 songs in the Top 40 on Spotify
• Gained 3 million Instagram followers
• Fenty Beauty searches were up 833%

Even crazier, Rihanna's performance had more viewers (118 million) than the game (115 million) averaged.

So it's no surprise Usher has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Usher is releasing his new album “Coming Home” just two days before the Super Bowl, hoping his performance sends it to the top of the charts.

He also signed several endorsement deals and will even be in a commercial.

But Usher's big play is promoting his upcoming tour.

Stubhub says artists typically see a 50% increase in concert ticket searches after performing at the Super Bowl, and The Weeknd sold 1 million tickets after his performance.

That's why Usher announced a 24-city arena tour yesterday, with tickets going up for sale immediately when he steps off stage.

This creates a win-win situation.

The NFL gets one of the world’s top artists to perform at its biggest event for free, and the musician gets a 13-minute commercial in front of 115 million people for a fraction of what brands pay.

That's why artists agree to do it for free.

#BeCapable #SuperBowl2024 #NFL #BUEM


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