Music

The Taylor Swift Bump: How the NFL Has Benefited From the Megastar’s Romance With Travis Kelce

Taylor Swift‘s relationship with Travis Kelce has been a touchdown for the NFL, which has benefited in multiple ways since the two publicly became an item in the fall.

On Sept. 24, the rumored romance between the pop superstar and Kansas City Chiefs tight end was seemingly confirmed when Swift was seen cheering on Kelce alongside his mother, Donna, during a game at Arrowhead Stadium. This was great timing for the league, which had just kicked off its 2023-24 season earlier that month. Since then, Swift has attended multiple Chiefs games, and the networks haven’t been shy about indulging in cutaways to the singer, who has occasionally been accompanied by famous pals like Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Cara Delevingne and Sophie Turner.

The NFL and its network partners didn’t waste any time capitalizing on the phenomenon. On Sept. 29, just five days after Swift’s first appearance and before the couple confirmed their relationship, NBC Sports aired a promo titled “Taylor Made for Sunday Night” for a game between the Chiefs and the New York Jets, scored to — you guessed it — Swift’s 1989 opener “Welcome to New York.” The NFL has also continued to churn out a slew of Swift-related content on its social media channels.

No less an authority than NFL commissioner Roger Goodell summed it up succinctly when he told CBS Mornings in November, “I think it’s great for the league to have that kind of attention. We welcome it.”

Aside from being a fun diversion for some NFL viewers (and, inevitably, a source of annoyance for others), the Swift-Kelce connection has proven to be lucrative for the NFL, which has benefited from the pairing in several concrete ways. As a globe-dominating superstar whose Eras Tour has only further catapulted her into the stratosphere, Swift is one of the few celebrities with the power to singlehandedly lift the nation’s most successful sports league even higher. The boost has been particularly strong among the female demographic: Though women previously made up roughly 50% of the viewing audience for NFL games, according to the league, they’ve been tuning in at higher levels than ever before.

See below for all the ways Swift has provided a material benefit to the NFL, the Chiefs organization and Kelce himself since the saga began.

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