Katy Perry has been officially signed on to perform during the Super Bowl XLIX’s halftime show on February 1st. Originally in the running were also Coldplay and Rihanna, whose planned pregame performance of “Run This Town” with Jay Z, was reneged and then rescheduled by CBS in September; a move that many, including Rihanna herself, saw as punishment towards a domestic violence victim in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal. Several of these artists were also approached by the NFL with an unprecedented “pay-to-play” deal, asking them to make a financial contribution to the League in exchange for the major national exposure and publicity guaranteed with such a high profile show.
While the NFL typically does not pay artists who perform during the Super Bowl halftime show, they usually incur costs, including production and travel, which often reach amounts as high as $1 million. During an appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay, Perry joked about the “pay-to-play” negotiations. “We have had some conversations, and I would be honored, of course, but I have let them know that I’m not the kind of girl who would pay-to-play the Super Bowl. The ball is in their field.” Artists’ agents were equally as unreceptive to the NFL’s request. As Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, and St. Vincent’s agent David T. Viecelli put it to Rolling Stone, “Obviously it is a marketing boon to play halftime for the Superbowl. But I hope that everybody tells them to go get stuffed.”
Perry, regardless of whether her agents negotiated their way out of a pay-to-play agreement, will receive staggering amounts of publicity for performing the halftime show. This past year saw Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform, which increased the number people who tuned in during halftime from 112.2 million to a record 115.3 million. Although fans of the multi-platinum pop star will be ecstatic to see her on the field come February 1st, others will be disappointed to hear that Weird Al Yankovic will not have the chance to invite Perry up on stage with him to sing his “Sports Song,” which mocks every sports fight song ever heard. In the meantime, fans of the pop icon will be watching to see if Perry adopts Bose, the “Official sound of the NFL,” as her headphones of choice as well, a decision that could drastically narrow the sales gap between Bose and Beats by Dre.