Black Eyed Peas to play Super Bowl for free

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

You really can't turn on the radio without hearing a Black Eyed Peas song. That's probably why the band commands up to $350,000 per concert and raked in an overwhelming $81.6 million from touring. That's also why the band is playing the Super Bowl... for free?

That's right, free.

The multi-million dollar band will take the stage at this year's Super Bowl for the infamous halftime show without asking for a penny in fees. The Super Bowl halftime stage, which has housed the likes of major music names Paul Mcartney, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake is an unpaid gig for everyone.

Besides the pro bono standard, the main motivation behind the charity is the insane exposure the Super Bowl offers.

For example, last year 1.3 saw Black Eyed Peas in concert, which is in stark contrast to the audience that tuned in to the Super Bowl, 106.5 million in 2010.

Setting broadcast records left and right, the Super Bowl offers the kind of exposure no amount of normal publicity can really buy.

"The platform that these artists are given can't be replicated," says Paul Swangard, managing director of the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, one of five industry sources who confirmed that halftime performances are pro-bono.

"It's a basic financial equation. What would you have to do as a band to have a conversation with a third of the country? I think the arrangement makes a lot of sense."

And the proof is in the pudding. After Tom Petty took the stage in 2008, his record sales picked up thanks to his performance. The Black Eyed Peas are likely to see a similar spike.

Obviously the Black Eyed Peas will get some benefits out of the gig, like free travel to the event, a coveted space at the event, and what one can only imagine is amazing free swag. Plus the millions of dollars in sales they are likely to cash in on because of the event.

"Historically, artists do not receive a performance fee for appearing in the Super Bowl halftime show," says attorney Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia. "But their expenses, which can be sizable depending on the size of the act and their entourage, are covered."

"You can't underestimate the additional impact of all the promotion leading up to the game and the show," explains Landew. "It's a great opportunity for an artist to get tremendous exposure, particularly with audiences that are not normally fans."

But the question that remains is whether Intel will give its new creative director and Black Eyed Peas frontman time off to travel and perform?

(Via Forbes)