Ever since her iconic Eras Tour took the world, Taylor Swift has become the definition of success. Both her tour and recently released film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” have gradually boosted the economy into a splendor of wealth, though the singer’s impact doesn’t just end there.
Watching from one of the suite boxes during a Kansas City Chiefs game was Taylor Swift, an unexpected and bewildering sight for many in Sept. of this year. Swift’s glorious celebration of Travis Kelce’s touchdown brewed a storm of speculations that the two had something more going on behind closed doors.
The entertainment and sports worlds both benefited from these rumors. As magazines picked up cheeky stories about the new couple, the NFL saw a boost in ticket sales and followership. When the New York Jets went up against the Chiefs on Oct. 1, low-priced seats at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey shot up nearly 35% in value once Swift’s attendance made headlines. The pattern of increasing ticket sales closely resembled the frenzy behind purchasing last-minute concert tickets, albeit with many skilled Swift fans adding these NFL tickets to their online carts.
The NFL has possibly never been this entertaining until Swift made her appearances a must-see. Her presence, along with celebrity friends like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, caused football games to rise in viewership, most notably among female watchers. The NFL has often been a male-dominated sport, but ever since young Swifties saw their leader on NFL grounds, the NFL’s viewership among female teens rose by 53%. Swift’s overall impact on female viewership opened a segway for a new demographic to watch football games on Sunday nights.
Travis Kelce has also enjoyed a rise in popularity with his link to the famous superstar. His jersey sales nearly rose to 400%, and his name, along with Swift’s, became the most searched on the internet. Known for his agile ability to outsmart his competitor’s teammates, Kelce has been regarded as the NFL’s best tight end. His natural-born performance on the field certainly makes him stand out from a pool of football players, and he is now one of the most famous football names in the game. His endeavors with Swift have significantly expanded his popularity and largely increased the relevant demographics of the Chief’s fanbase.
However, many were not happy with the overwhelming coverage of Swift’s presence during every Chief’s game. In seeing how Swift affected their prices, the NFL took it upon themselves to have Swift’s name in every news headline they managed. On their Instagram account, the NFL posted a video of Swift speaking to Lively during a game, with the caption reading: “The @chiefs are 2-0 with @taylorswift in attendance.”
Kelce even took it upon himself to say during his podcast, New Heights, that the NFL was “overdoing it” when it came to covering the Swift-Kelce news. Kelce appeared to be on the side that the NFL should be covering the game itself rather than eating up and promoting A-list game appearances.
In defense of its high coverage of Swift, the NFL went on to say, “The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we’ve leaned into in real-time, as it’s an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we’ve seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport.”
It’s fair to say that solely covering a celebrity’s attendance during a football game erases each team’s efforts as they compete against each other. But without Swift, the NFL would continue to be a sport for just men. Swift has redefined the NFL’s following, and the NFL has acknowledged that. It has not only brought in female viewers, as aforementioned but also a younger generation of fans that would have never clicked on the NFL in their TV programming.
The NFL will no longer be regarded as just a sport; it will now and forever be marked by a brewing celebrity romance with the world’s most recognizable star’s name attached to it. Touchdowns and cozy dates between the young couple will be headlined together as the entertainment and sports worlds are united as one.
We’re living in Taylor’s Version 24/7, and sports fans will have to accept that.