I love the Super Bowl. I was not happy with the outcome on Sunday as I wanted the Falcons to win. But hats off to Tom Brady and the Patriots for pulling out of their tailspin and coming back to win the game. History making event.
But enough about football. Ha! Today I want to talk about the halftime show because it was out of this world and I couldn’t help myself...I was enjoying it not just for the entertainment value, but also for the business value...looking at Lady Gaga as the epitome of an artist entrepreneur who plays her position to a tee.
I’ve been a distant fan of Lady Gaga for years, with a few of her big hits on my playlist. She is an icon of my daughter’s generation more than one of mine. But I gained an entirely new level of respect for her after Super Bowl 51’s halftime show.
Here are three things that stood out to me about Lady Gaga’s performance at Super Bowl 51:
- When you show up as yourself, you win. I can’t think of another performer today who is as much herself as Lady Gaga, and the halftime show she put on demonstrated that exponentially. Her glittery costume and matching boots. Her hair, the mask over her eyes. She was confident. She was bold. She was authentic.
- When you serve others through playing your position, you win. Lady Gaga is all about her fans who she calls her “Little Monsters” for those listening today who don’t know much about her. Notice how she didn’t use the enormous viewing stage that comes with a halftime show to play a song she’s been working on that no one knows, or rant about her views on some issue. I have seen performers do this when they get the spotlight. They make it all about them instead of giving the audience what it wants. In Lady Gaga’s case, what her audience wants to hear are her big hits like “Poker Face” “Born This Way” and “The Edge of Glory.” And she delivered big time. Her one nod to the highly charged political climate was starting the set with “America the Beautiful.” Her message? We are all one big team here. We may not always see eye to eye but we can work together to keep this thing called Democracy we love going as red white and blue lights lit up behind her in the shape of the American flag. Brilliant..
- When you want to play your position at the highest level, you build a great team around you. Even though she is the name of her brand, the center of the Lady Gaga brand, she surrounds herself with the best -- the best dancers, the best musicians, the best sound team, the best choreographers… Lady Gaga is incredibly smart about her business and she holds herself accountable to the highest standards. She takes responsibility for what happens. Even in her pregame interview with Michael Strahan, she was cool under pressure, confident about who she was and what she was going to deliver. Like anyone about to launch a product into the world, she knew her performance had risk in it. But she went for it anyway and took it all the way into the end zone.
The experience was extraordinary from the opening aerial stunt when she came flying down from the fake sky to the conclusion when she dropped the mic and caught the football as she leaped off the stage into the abyss. It took my breath away when I watched it live and it’s taking my breath away now as I recall it.
For me, that was the biggest win of the day.
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