Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Beyoncé earned an average of $70 million each year from 2009 to 2011, dipping to $40 million last year as she and her husband, Jay-Z, welcomed their daughter, Blue Ivy, into the world. When she hits the road again, presumably later in 2013, she'll likely return to grossing more than $2 million per night.
And yet, when she takes the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show in New Orleans this Sunday, she won't be getting a penny for her efforts.
"We do not pay," said NFL spokesman Greg McCarthy in an email. "We cover all expenses associated with the performance."
"There is not anything like it," says Derek Jackson, co-founder of advertising agency Glu. "The Super Bowl, for an artist, is considered the medium of all mediums. You can't beat it from a promotional standpoint. You garner so many eyeballs at one time."
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How many eyeballs, exactly? About 112.5 million in the U.S. alone last year. And even though Beyoncé's next album isn't out yet — just a recent Destiny's Child release — she stands to profit immensely, as others have in the past.
Though Madonna's halftime performance last year led to 165,000 digital downloads of her new song "Give Me All Your Luvin'" the week after the game, it also led to a stratospheric increase for purchases of classic hits like "Vogue" (+1,033 percent) and "Like a Prayer" (+2,437 percent).
Of course, there's another reason that Beyoncé might be willing to sing for a song: Pepsi, which returns this year as the halftime show sponsor after inking a new deal with the NFL, signed her to a $50 million deal late last year.
"This is a Pepsi event, so I'd have to make the argument that this was in her deal," says Jackson, who brokered Nicki Minaj's multimillion-dollar agreement with the beverage company. "I can't imagine it being any other way. ... What better way to make it known to the world that Beyoncé is the face of Pepsi?"
The company's representatives say the performance wasn't part of her deal but that they're certainly happy to have her on board.
"While we are sponsors of the show, the terms of Beyoncé's appearance are solely between her and the NFL," says Pepsi spokeswoman Andrea Foote. "While we were consulted as a sponsor, we did not make any stipulation that she be the performer. We obviously have our own long-standing relationship with Beyoncé and are thrilled that she will be the performer our first year returning as sponsor of the event."
Regardless, Beyoncé will earn double-digit millions from Pepsi in the coming years, and it seems unlikely that she'd have wanted to rock that boat by declining such an important gig, even if she's not getting paid for it.