Madonna performs at the Super Bowl in 2012. Photo by Stephen Luke

Madonna performs at the Super Bowl in 2012. Photo by Stephen Luke

Got a band? Have a new album you’d like to promote? Want to expose more than 100 million people to your work in one fell swoop? Well, has the National Football League got a deal for you — and it involves the global stage that is the Super Bowl halftime show.

Citing an article in the Wall Street JournalRolling Stone reported last month that “when reaching out to artists, league representatives asked some acts if they would exchange a headlining slot for a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour earnings, or make another type of financial contribution to the NFL. … While the NFL doesn’t typically pay artists who perform during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, they do tend to cover travel and production expenses, which can be upwards of a million dollars.”

Apparently, league officials want to recoup those costs, and they want the artists whom they deem worthy of inviting to play the halftime show to ante up for the privilege.

We all know how much cash various companies pay to promote products during the big game.

The Atlantic reported, before the Super Bowl this past February, that “for the second straight year, advertisers are willing to pay about $4 million for a 30-second Super Bowl spot.” And apparently that’s a bargain.

“When you divide a $4 million commercial by an audience of 115 million, you get a ‘rate’ called CPM — cost-per-mille (thousand viewers). The Super Bowl’s rate this year is about $35 to reach 1,000 people,” The Atlantic explained.

What most people don’t realize about the NFL is that it’s a nonprofit organization.

As Forbes reported in January, “The National Football League takes in more than $9.5 billion per year and is exempt from Federal taxes. As a nonprofit, it earns more than the Y, the Red Cross, Goodwill, the Salvation Army or Catholic Charities — yet it stands as one of the greatest profit-generating commercial advertising, entertainment and media enterprises ever created.”

Now, we all know that the Super Bowl halftime show promotes artists who aren’t exactly starving. Even if an artist couldn’t cover the price of promotion, a company that he or she might endorse certainly could. So, one who is eager to come up with the cash to promote his or work on the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime stage would probably have to start by selling himself or herself to the highest corporate bidder.

And that would be nothing new, of course. We see it all the time. The NFL, I’m sure, is counting on it.

So, if you’ve got a sponsor with deep pockets, the NFL wants you to know that it’s a charity that could really use your support.

David Brensilver