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The Weeknd Invests $9 Million For Super Bowl Halftime Show

I
n the lead up to Super Bowl LV on February 7, The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), who is set to perform at halftime, has put up USD$7 million (AUD $9 million) of his own money in order to “make this halftime show be what he envisioned.”

Speaking ahead of his performance, The Weeknd said the investment is aimed to make the fans at home enjoy the experience more, with the event to be held in front of a 30% capacity (22,000 people) Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

“We’ve been really focusing on dialling in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Super Bowl,” The Weeknd said.

The investment comes after the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show featured a performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, which recorder 102 million viewers, and was the first to be curated by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which signed a partnership with the NFL in 2019 and will curate the 2021 edition.

The Weeknd confirmed the NFL and Super Bowl organisers will still cover the usual production costs involved with the halftime show, which is set to be 12-13 minutes long.

One of The Weeknd’s managers, Amir Esmailian, said The Weeknd and his team have always had a goal of performing at the Super Bowl, but did not expect the performance to be as early as 2021.

“[The Weeknd] always had the Super Bowl on our bucket list,” Esmailian said.

“We’ve always had timelines for all of our goals.

“It came a few years earlier than we expected,” he said.

The NFL’s Super Bowl halftime show has been reported to cost the NFL upwards of USD$10 million (AUD$13 million) in recent years in production costs, however, Reuters reported the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show cost the NFL USD$13 million (AUD$17 million).

Meanwhile, the 2021 Super Bowl LV will look different this year compared to previous editions, with several key brands that typically feature with highly anticipated advertisements, such as Budweiser and Bud Light, opting to invest in COVID-19 relief funding instead of ads.

Super Bowl ads have been reported to cost an estimated USD$5.5 million (AUD$7.1 million) for a 30-second spot.

Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business advertising instructor, Greg Gerfen, said: “This year’s Super Bowl will look a little different than past Super Bowls.”

“There are some big names not advertising in the Super Bowl this year.

“What’s interesting is Budweiser is going to be taking their money, the $5.5 million that would normally go to a 30-second spot, and they’re going to be buying air-time that will go toward pro-vaccine messages to be put out into the marketplace,” Gerfen said.