This past Sunday, as we mourned the Cowboys first loss of the season, the channel switched to coverage on the Kansas City Chiefs win. More specifically, it switched to coverage on the Chief’s tight end, Travis Kelce, and his rumored relationship with Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift has one of the most intense and dedicated fan bases, known as Swifties. Swifties has caused websites to crash because of too many users, helped Swift gain all top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 list and pushed Ticketmaster to the Supreme Court after ticket prices skyrocketed for Swift’s Eras Tour.
Kelce attended a Taylor Swift concert in early July and admitted that he tried and failed to give Swift his number after the show. In September, On The Pat McAfee Show, Kelce said he told Swift, “I’ve seen you rock the stage at Arrowhead [Stadium]. You might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead and see which one’s a little more lit.”
Swift took Kelce up on his challenge and made an appearance next to Kelce’s mother to watch the Chiefs play the Chicago Bears on September 24. Her presence attracted the attention of the players, staff and her own fan base.
Compared to the 2022 average NFL viewer count of 16.7 million, the 24.3 million viewers of the Chiefs – Bears game probably weren’t all interested in the blowout of a game, Nielsen Media Research reported. FOX showed Swift a total of nine times, seven of which were paired with shots of Kelce.
In post game interviews, reporters asked Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes about his thoughts on Taylor Swift being in the crowd and if he felt any extra pressure because of her. Taylor Swift and Chiefs fans alike are itching to learn more, generously raising the views on interviews.
How does the relationship between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce affect their brands and the organizations they represent?
Taylor Swift is currently taking a one month break from her Eras Tour, where she sings forty songs in each show. Being seen publicly with Kelce keeps her on the forefront of media attention. On the day of the football game, Google reported searches for Taylor Swift to increase ten times. Since then, an infinite number of articles about her and Kelce’s supposed relationship have been published.
Swift has a reputation for being a serial dater, but Kelce would be the first American she has dated in a decade. She seemed to have developed a type for British men, Harry Styles, Tom Hiddleston, Matty Healy and, most recently, Joe Alwyn. American fans are excited and humored by her return to an all-American man, causing a wave of jokes across the internet.
More notable than the attention on Swift, the NFL is seeing interesting statistics in response to Swift’s presence. Journalist David Rumsey said that Roku reported a 63% increase in female viewers between the ages of eighteen and forty nine from the viewership of the Chiefs’ game the previous week.The Associated Press also reported that Kelce saw a 400% increase in jersey sales.
On September 26, the NFL’s bio on X (formerly Twitter) read “NFL (Taylor’s Version)”. In total, the NFL tweeted about the Chiefs-Bears game seventeen times. Eight of those tweets included a mention or allusion to Swift. ESPN tweeted five times about the Chiefs, all of which mentioned Swift. Clearly, these networks are reaching out to an audience they typically have less success reaching, which just so happens to be the typical demographic of Swift’s fanbase: Millennial and Gen Z females.
It’s hard to tell if it’s PR or true love with celebrities, but either way, Kelce and Swift hopped in his 1970 Chevelle and left the stadium for a dinner date. Both parties of the power couple, and the Kansas City Chiefs, will reap the benefits of the frenzy they have caused.