Super Bowl LVII: Why is Rihanna not earning a paycheck from her half-time performance?
Did the NFL leave their wallets on the team bus, or is there another way Rihanna will monetize her Super Bowl 57 performance?
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If all tongues were wagging during Rihanna’s half-time show at this year’s Super Bowl, where the Barbadian singer revealed a brand new baby bump, then perhaps news of her earnings from the performance will see that tongue wagging continue.
It turns out that despite the pomp and pageantry that comes along with musical performances during the Super Bowl halftime show that paychecks are the last thing on the NFL’s mind - and many artists who have signed up are aware of this ahead of their performances.
This means that Rihanna’s performance on Sunday was, for all intents and purposes, a freebie for the NFL. However, there is more to the story than a simple case of the American Football organisation too “stingy” to stump up the cash.
According to The Independent, the average cost of a Super Bowl half-time performance is around the $10m USD mark (just over £8 million), with performers in previous years including the stunning Dr. Dre curated show putting their own money into the proceedings knowing full well how big of a platform performing can be.
The artists also have all their travel expenses paid for by the National Football League and, as a spokesperson for the league told The Independent, “covers all costs associated with the show and [...] pay the halftime performers’ union scale.”
So how will Rihanna make money from her performance? This is where the idea of the half-time show being used for promotional purposes once again is raised - with good reason.
Making the Super Bowl work (work work work work) for Rihanna
The Umbrella singer will first of all see an increase in streaming revenue from digital stores such as Spotify and Apple Music, given the medley, Rihanna performed included classics such as (Only Girl) In The World. Take a look at the streaming numbers for Rihanna after the performance and no doubt you’ll have seen a spike in her listenership.
Secondly, the singer released a 17-piece Super Bowl-inspired collection as part of her Savage x Fenty brand, which included a T-shirt that read: “Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game, weird but whatever” and her take on a classic football jersey.
The collection, which is available on Savagex.com, ranges from $32.95 for a Fenty Super Bowl beanie to $112 for a “Property of Fenty'' hoodie emblazoned with “Savage x Fenty LVII” on the back. Rihanna has also collaborated with sporting goods company Mitchell and Ness featuring official NFL-branded T-shirts and hoodies featuring Rihanna’s hand holding a football.
Thirdly, it has provided Rihanna with an additional platform to promote her upcoming Apple TV+ documentary, which is set to follow the singer from the announcement of her Super Bowl 57 performance through to the performance itself. Given Apple’s tendency to pay big money for celebrity endorsements alone, and that Apple Music has footed part of the bill for her half-time performance, no doubt there is revenue set to be made there.
Don’t feel too bad for Rihanna not getting a super-sized Super Bowl paycheck for her performance though; recent figures have estimated the singer is worth around $1.7b USD according to a recent Forbes profile.