Preparations began in January, with Madonna saying that the rehearsal was the most exhausting one in which she had ever participated. Costumes were designed by Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy, Miu Miu and Prada. The performance required 500 outfits, including customized costumes for the musical guests and assisting performers. The production team was allotted seven minutes to set up the stage, 12 minutes for the performance and eight minutes to take down the stage. The modular structure was assembled from a truck, with a large white fabric in front as media screens for Moment Factory. Projection mapping was used by video-hardware manufacturer Barco, with films modified for the spectators and the television audience. The stadium was equipped with Sharpys lighting arrangements from Clay Paky, and the show usedSennheiser sound equipment.
Madonna was not paid for performing at the halftime show, which provides global exposure for an artist. The show was a success, setting a Super Bowl halftime-show record of 114 million viewers (higher than the viewership of the game itself). Keith Caulfield of Billboard reported a 17-fold sales increase for Madonna's back catalog and strong preorder sales for her upcoming releases. Critics praised the show, noting Madonna's cautious performance. However, M.I.A. extended her middle finger to the camera near the end of her verse of "Give Me All Your Luvn'" in place of the word "shit". The rapper was criticized, and the NFL apologized for its inability to blur out the image. The league later fined M.I.A. $16.6 million, which was settled in a confidential 2014 agreement.
According to CBS News, Madonna had been asked to perform in the 1998 and 2000 Super Bowl halftime shows but cancelled both. In January 2000 she was scheduled to perform her new single, "American Pie", at the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show. However, she withdrew from the commitment due to a conflict with her recording schedule. In a statement at the time, Madonna expressed "sincere apologies" to the league and said: "I look forward to the possibility of doing something with the NFL in the future."
In late 2011 Madonna was busy with the release of her film W.E. and with recording her twelfth studio album, MDNA. The singer was reportedly signed by the NFL for the Super Bowl halftime show, and in December the league confirmed that Madonna would perform in the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game was scheduled for February 5, 2012, and its organizers continued their practice of inviting global musicians to perform. Artists who had previously performed in the show included the Black Eyed Peas, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, U2, Paul McCartney and Prince. The show coincided with the release of W.E. in United States.
- Music (featuring LMFAO, contains elements of "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It")
- "Give Me All Your Luvin" (featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.)
- "Open Your Heart/Express Yourself" (featuring CeeLo Green, the Avon High School Drumline, the Center Grove High School Drumline, the Fishers High School Drumline and the Franklin Central High School Drumline)
- "Like a Prayer" (featuring CeeLo Green and a choir of 200 local Indianapolis singers)