It is a well-known fact that the Super Bowl is a pretty big deal every year in the USA (and to a lesser extent, other countries out of curiosity of the show put on). It is also known that for many fans not as into american football as more regular viewers, their contribution to the 9-figure viewing total (to be enjoyed early next year by NBC) is more out of interest in the commercials aired and/or the half-time show than the big game itself.
One thing that would be unusual to think could actually happen, though, is for the two more ‘alternative’ Super Bowl viewing reasons to combine, as the NFL reportedly begin their annual search for an act to play their championship game… with the added requirement that it is they who contribute a fee for the right to do so.
Although theoretically it may make sense with the (most likely) musical artist getting plenty of exposure out of it, morally by the NFL it would feel like the worst they should do is just have the act play for free in a mutually-beneficial agreement (as they had been doing before, but with league-covered multi-million production & travel expenses), but at the same time this is the NFL looking for the best possible scenario for their brand…
…But at the same time as that their suggestion is one that could risk putting that Super Bowl brand at risk, potentially scaring off potential big-name participants for what was originally devised as a ratings-saving approach to the halftime performance… so they may need to keep “Up with People” on emergency speed-dial for a while here…
In the current plans by the NFL, though, the act to succeed Bruno Mars (who appears to have got off lucky a year early) and have a huge headlining act at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (USA) on 1 February 2015 will reportedly be Katy Perry, Coldplay, or Rihanna, or potentially a combination of that list, although none have been as welcoming to the idea after hearing of the new requirement.
While the latter two have played a major sporting event together before at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games, that would be widely considered a much more deserving recipient of non-payment (as they reportedly did so with Jay-Z), but the NFL will have other ideas for their extravaganza. The Wall Street Journal suggest that the league have made a request for a one-off fee to play the Super Bowl XLIX, or alternatively, to “…contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league”.
They will surely manage to find someone that wants to fit these terms eventually, but as the 32 franchises of the league continue their pre-season campaigns ahead of competing to be the 2 teams involved on the psuedo-holiday, will the league actually find it a tougher challenge to put on the sideshow than the teams playing to be the main attraction? At least in the past two decades the NFL, for its faults in the matter, have managed to bring out headlining acts that are (for the most part) less campy than what was used in different eras, although you can let it slide considering the era and a lack of HD-generation set-ups that today’s acts enjoy:
At least they won’t be taking any ideas from their first-ever attempt, the NFL can safely assume that the average modern Super Bowl viewer does not want to see or hear a traditional brass band: