Bruno Mars may have been the youngest performer to headline the Super Bowl halftime show, but he joins the ranks of stars with far more experience who were not paid for the gig. The NFL does not pay for Super Bowl performances. The real pay-off is from the exposure and the rise in music sales. The monetary reward comes from an increase in fans, which equals more money. The recent 164 percent increase for Mars proves this.
Mars beat both Madonna and Beyoncé in terms of being the most-watched halftime show. Beyoncé performed last year with 110.8 million views. Madonna performed in 2012 with 114 million views. Mars stole the show this year with 115.3 million viewers.
He put on a stellar performance, featuring his songs, Locked Out of Heaven, Treasure and Runaway Baby. He wowed the crowd and over 100 million at-home viewers with his upbeat music, dancing and drum solo when he took the stage at Metlife Stadium.
His debut album, Doowop and Hooligans, which features Grenade, Just the Way You Are and Marry You, reached number three on the top album charts. His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, debuted on Sept. 14, 2013. Though it has been a successful record for the 28-year-old Hawaiian, it showed a big jump in sales after the Super Bowl halftime show. He sold an additional 40,000 copies, making it the real pay off for doing the show. Downloads also rose on iTunes, with five of Mars’ songs on the top 20 list. Locked Out of Heaven is still on the top 10 list Wednesday.
This follows his best pop vocal album Grammy win just last month. He also received attention for his nominations for the record of the year and song of the year, which he did not win.
The jump in record sales is unprecedented because he has a recent album with songs that are still topping the charts. This sets him apart from the performers in the past who have all had more albums over a longer period of time. Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, for example, saw a spike in sales, but it was across the board over a larger collection of albums, not just the two like Mars has.
In addition, his concert tickets are expected to rise for his Moonshine Jungle tour. While ticket prices for his concert averaged $66 in 2013, they can easily bump up to $120 per ticket now. Tickets have already sold out fast for the North American portion of Mars’ tour, according to his record label, Atlantic Records.
The NFL does not offer payment to any of the halftime performers, but they do cover all related expenses, which can add up quickly. Millions have been spent on all of the glitz and glamor it takes to pull of a show of this magnitude, not to mention the performer’s own travel and lodging expenses. The real pay-off comes from the exposure, however. Commercials that aired during the game cost roughly $4 million per 30-second ad. Mars received a 12-minute spot on the most sought after time slot. His exposure resulted in an immediate jump in sales, making it his highest paid gig to date.
By Tracy Rose