SUPER BOWL LVIII
Taylor Swift’s huge impact on the NFL and the Super Bowl: viewing figures, jersey sales, brand value…
Football hasn’t been quite the same since the “Shake It Off” singer got together with Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce.
24 September 2023 marked a turning point in recent NFL history. That Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium, the first game Taylor Swift attended in support of “new” boyfriend Travis Kelce, the Chiefs tight end. After that, the pop superstar went to 12 more games, both home and away, including the AFC Championship Game and, of course, the biggest game of the season - Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Taylor Swift’s incredible effect on NFL viewership
As we well know by now, getting to Vegas wasn’t an easy task for Swift, who performed in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday 10 February and had to be on the other side of the world the following day. The 17-hour time difference was crucial and she eventually made it with time to spare, adding another significant layer of glamour to an already glossy affair.
Swift’s regular presence at Kelce’s games ramped up the media attention on the Chiefs and the NFL several notches. Additionally, many “Swifties,” who were not previously football fans, have now started watching and following the Kansas City franchise, which has led to a spike in television viewership.
From 24 September onwards, the league boasted its highest ratings since 2015, as well as the biggest regular-season viewership among women since numbers started being tracked in 2000. For the NFL, Taylor Swift has essentially become their most effective ever Super Bowl ad.
As reported by USA Today, data collected by Zeta Global (ZETA), a marketing technology company, shows American interest in the NFL has increased by 169% in the last year, with interest in ads during games up an incredible 903% compared to February 2023. That, surely, can’t just be a coincidence.
How much brand value has Swift generated for the Chiefs and the NFL?
Ahead of the Chiefs’ AFC Championship title win, Apex Marketing Group calculated how much extra brand value Swift had generated for the league and the Kansas City-based franchise.
The study shows the 34 year old’s impact has been worth an estimated $331.5 million across print, digital, radio, television, highlights and social media, as underlined by Front Office Sports. Kelce’s jersey sales, meanwhile, shot up by 400% almost overnight after Swift attended her first game.
To put “the Taylor Swift effect” into even greater perspective, Kristin Juszczyk, the wife of San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle, has gained over a million followers on Instagram after the “Blank Space” songstress wore a puffer jacket she designed to the Chiefs’ playoff game against the Miami Dolphins. On the back of that, Juszczyk sealed a licensing agreement with the NFL allowing her to use the league’s brand on her clothing designs.
Swift and Kelce’s love story continues
While the team will continue to garner plenty of media coverage, much of the post-match attention has already centred around Swift’s love story with Kelce. In the same way as, before the game, speculation was rife over whether she would make it from Tokyo to Los Angeles to Las Vegas in time, which she eventually did, attending the Super Bowl with actress Blake Lively and rapper Ice Spice.
Eras Tour star uniting families in the U.S.
The Pennsylvania-born star appeared on the big screen at Allegiant Stadium on a number of occasions at different points of the game, downing the remainder of her beer on one such instance. After the Chiefs’ victory was confirmed, a swarm of cameras followed her and Kelce hugging and kissing on the field.
And it seems Swift has even succeeded uniting whole families. Barely a week goes by without stories popping up on social media from parents - mainly dads - claiming the 14-time Grammy winner has helped bring them closer to their significant others and children, now apparently fully-fledged football fans. That’s what sport is all about, isn’t it?
With the NFL season now over, Kelce is expected to accompany Swift on the next leg of her Eras Tour, which begins in Melbourne, Australia on Friday 16 February. That’s only two days after the Chiefs’ planned Super Bowl victory parade in Kansas City, which means we’ll all have another round-the-world dash to follow.