The Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest performances an artist will ever do in their career and is one of the highest honors so it’s no surprise that they would call on international sensation Beyoncé to do the honors.  The gig however doesn’t pay so why would Beyoncé do it?  Read more after the jump.

Shay Marie

“We do not pay,” said NFL spokesperson Greg McCarthy in an email. “We cover all expenses associated with the performance.”

Those costs—which include travel, lodging, setup, fees for backup dancers and musicians—should add up to $600,000 or more, which is certainly significant. But so is playing without receiving a performance fee. So why did Beyoncé agree to play the Super Bowl for free?

Her spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but others point to two main reasons. First, there’s the precedent set by Madonna, the Black-Eyed Peas and others who’ve done gratis halftime shows. Second, and also responsible for her predecessors’ decisions, there’s the fact that the halftime show is the most-watched musical event of the year.

“There is not anything like it,” says Derek Jackson, cofounder of advertising agency Glu. “The Super Bowl, for an artist, is considered the medium of all mediums. You can’t beat it from a promotional standpoint. You garner so many eyeballs at one time.”

How many eyeballs, exactly? About 112.5 million in the U.S. alone last year. And even though Beyoncé’s next album isn’t out yet—just a recent Destiny’s Child release—she stands to profit immensely, as others have in the past.

Of course, there’s another reason that Beyoncé might be willing to sing for a song: Pepsi, which returns this year as the halftime show sponsorship after inking a new deal with the NFL, signed her to a $50 million deal late last year.

“This is a Pepsi event, so I’d have to make the argument that this was in her deal,” says Jackson, who brokered Nicki Minaj’s multimillion dollar agreement with the beverage company. “I can’t imagine it being any other way … What better way to make it known to the world that Beyoncé is the face of Pepsi?”

The company’s representatives say the performance wasn’t part of her deal, but they’re certainly happy to have her on board.

Though the performance itself is technically free, we all know Beyoncé stands to earn millions.