Miley Cyrus Final Four concert came with seven-figure price tag for NCAA
This spring, the NCAA made an interesting decision to air a Miley Cyrus concert during the 2021 Final Four.
The performance, in which Cyrus covered many classic rock songs backed by a band, was not well-received by sports fans. Cyrus and the NCAA were crushed on social media for the odd, forced pairing. Adding insult to injury, we now know the NCAA paid a hefty sum for the performance.
Phase I of the NCAA’s external “Gender Equity Review” report was published Tuesday. The report focuses on the differences between the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. It mentions the Cyrus concert and reveals the performance came with a whopping $5 million price tag:
Even in a year when most of the non-competition events were cancelled due to the pandemic, the men’s tournament managed to significantly outshine the women’s tournament with respect to promotion, hosting a made-for-TV virtual concert by Miley Cyrus that took place between the Final Four games on April 3, 2021. The concert gave the men’s Final Four the feel of a professional sports event, while there was nothing comparable at the women’s Final Four. The men’s concert was sponsored by the NCAA’s Corporate Champions—AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Capital One—and cost the NCAA almost $5million, through a contribution required by a contract between the NCAA and CBS/Turner.
The report adds that there were discussions about a concert for the women’s tournament, but the staff declined feeling it was not worth the cost:
One month before the women’s championship, NCAA sponsor AT&T offered to do a virtual concert for the women’s championship, but the women’s basketball staff declined out of concern that only a couple hundred people would tune in and that it would not be worth the $150,000 it would cost the NCAA to support. The 90-minute intermission between the women’s Final Four games was instead filled by studio dialogue. Women’s basketball had also considered a drive-in concert at the Alamodome, but that fell through because of space and timing issues, especially once the city of San Antonio set up a large COVID-19 vaccination site in the Alamodome parking lot.