When news broke that R&B diva Beyonce was performing at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, most people automatically assumed she was going to collect a huge paycheck.
Well, after doing a little research, we found out exactly how she’s banking.
According to Forbes.com, NFL spokesperson Greg McCarthy confirmed via email that the NFL doesn’t pay a dime for any of the artists that perform.
McCarthy confirmed: “We do not pay. We cover all expenses associated with the performance.”
Those costs—which include travel, lodging, setup, fees for backup dancers and musicians—should add up to $600,000 or more, which is certainly significant. But so is playing without receiving a performance fee.
So why did Beyoncé agree to play the Super Bowl for free?
“There is not anything like it,” says Derek Jackson, cofounder 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.”
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.
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 sponsorship 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 they’re certainly happy to have her on board.