As Justin Timberlake said to Jimmy Fallon when announcing his headlining slot at February’s Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, “I do have time!”
He may have the time, but one thing is for sure: The Super Bowl halftime veteran is not going to have the money. Timberlake joins a long list of A-list artists who, despite their power and fame, have not and will not be paid a performance fee for their appearances at the game.
The NFL’s stance is clear: “We do not pay the artists,” explained NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter to Forbes. “We cover expenses and production costs.”
So, that means that Timberlake — as well as other past superstars including Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Madonna — will perform solely for the unique prestige and exposure the slot offers.
At first, it doesn’t seem as if these artists really need any more exposure than they already have (Timberlake has 62.6 million followers on Twitter alone). However, looking at it practically, the halftime show is basically a free commercial that airs in front of more than 100 million people, and it’s an invaluable way for artists to capture attention outside of their fanbases.
In fact, according to Forbes, Super Bowl halftime performers generally experience a big boost in music sales — even ones that already have massive numbers to their names. In fact, the halftime slot is such a coveted marketing tool, rumors began to swirl in 2014 that the NFL would actually charge artists to play it. (Unsurprisingly, that didn’t go over well with artists, and the idea has apparently been dropped.)
Multi-genre artists such as Timberlake — who’s also a seasoned actor with a movie coming out later this year — stand to benefit even more from such huge exposure.
This will be Timberlake’s third time performing on the Super Bowl halftime stage, giving him the distinction of having the most appearances by an individual entertainer. He previously performed at Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII.
Super Bowl LII will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, and will air on NBC.