The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce hysteria is poised to continue another week.
After weeks of rumors that Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce and pop star Taylor Swift were dating, the singer showed up at a Chiefs game last Sunday, and is expected to attend the Chiefs-Jets game on Sunday night., per Front Office Sports.
Swift was shown on camera yelling in excitement when Kelce scored a touchdown as the Chiefs dominated the Bears 41-10, and the two were seen leaving the game together in a now-viral clip.
While it’s unclear whether the two are dating or simply friends, Kelce is already enjoying the Taylor Swift effect. For example:
- Sunday’s Chiefs-Bears game had 24.3 million viewers, the most-watched NFL game of the week on any network. And the Chiefs’ next game, a Sunday-night matchup against the New York Jets, has already seen a threefold increase in ticket sales, a StubHub spokesperson told MarketWatch.
- The “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce” podcast, featuring Kelce and his brother, shot up to No. 1 on Apple’s podcast charts on Wednesday.
- Kelce’s social media influence has flourished, with his Instagram followers jumping from 2.7 million followers the day before the game, to 3.2 million as of Wednesday; a roughly 18% increase. A week ago, Kelce could make about $14,700 per sponsored Instagram post, and now that’s up to $17,800 per post, according to data sports-analytics brand Oddspedia provided to MarketWatch.
- Kelce’s was one of the top five highest-selling NFL jerseys last Sunday, and sales of Kelce merchandise spiked 400% on Fanatics, the NFL’s official merchandise seller.
Kelce won’t necessarily see big money from jersey sales, because NFL players don’t directly profit off merchandise sold. Instead, NFL franchises split merchandise royalties, according to Spurwink River’s retail expert Matt Powell. The NFL Players Association — the union representing all players in the NFL — will get some merch revenue, but that money then gets put into a pool for all players in the league.
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Swift’s presence at the game doesn’t just benefit Kelce, but also the NFL, which has been getting in on the fun, too. This week, the NFL’s bio on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, read “NFL (Taylor’s Version)” alongside a photo of Swift and Travis Kelce’s mom, Donna Kelce, watching Sunday’s game.
What’s more, Swift-themed content made up 7% of the NFL’s social media posts last Sunday, and those posts generated 109 million impressions. The total equivalent brand value of Swift’s appearance at the Chiefs game across all social media, TV, radio, digital news and print news was $37 million, according to Apex Marketing, a company that specializes in advertising and branding services.
If Swift attends the Chiefs-Jets Sunday Night Football game, it could lead to a major boost in ratings for the primetime matchup.
See also: Want to watch every NFL game this season? Here’s how much it will cost you.
And while Kelce was already one of the most well-known players in the NFL, being linked to Swift, who is currently on a break from her record-breaking Eras Tour, could bring him a new pool of fans. It seems they’re already looking into Chiefs home game tickets, perhaps for a chance at spotting Swift in the stands.
Swift has been fairly private about her romantic life in recent years, while Kelce has been more public about his. Kelce starred in an E! Entertainment TV dating show called “Catching Kelce,” where he searched for his perfect match among 50 women in a Bachelor-style reality series.
But while Kelce may be enjoying some extra time in the spotlight right now because of Swift, could there be any downside to him and the singer being seen together?
“A lot of Taylor Swift’s brand is based on her relationships,” Mara Einstein, a media studies professor at Queens College, told MarketWatch. “Who she’s dating? How long are they dating? When are they breaking up? So even if this doesn’t go well, it will be beneficial for her because it has been in the past.”
“There isn’t really a downside for him,” she added, “because I’m guessing that whatever audience base he garners from her may not have been aware of him to begin with.”
More on the “Taylor Swift effect” on MarketWatch:
A $35,000 trip to see Taylor Swift? How the artist’s fans boosted the Los Angeles economy by $320 million.
Is Taylor Swift the world’s best boss? She’s giving bonuses up to $100,000 to truck drivers, caterers and dancers who work on her Pro Eras Tour.
There’s a new star of the U.S. economy this summer: women. ‘Is this how men have always felt?’
Taylor Swift is on track to earn $345 million this year, bringing her closer to billionaire status