How Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Conquered the NFL: By the Numbers


The NFL couldn't have written the script better if it tried – although we're not suggesting it did. But after several tumultuous years marked by media cycles centered on racism, police brutality, protests, sexual assault, domestic violence, shaky audiences, culture war shenanigans and the small fact that the game itself destroys the brains of everyone who plays it. , the National Football League had a 2023-2024 season where the main storyline seemed to be his simple proximity to Taylor Swift, vis-à-vis his relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce.

Even before the couple went public last fall, Swift was in the midst of a media glut not seen since the days of 1989Kim and Kanye, and Reputation. Add the superstar tight end of the reigning Super Bowl champions to a cultural stew that already included Midnights“Anti-Hero,” the Eras tour, the end of a six-year relationship, and a summer of amateur shots at Casa Cipriani with an alt-rocker infamous for not knowing when to shut up, and you get the kind of a cosmic gumbo that could make the most hardened army of haggard PR experts and marketing professionals weep with joy.

Swift was present at most of the Chiefs' games this season and their playoff run, a regularly recurring gift for the NFL and its camera crews that may have sparked some consternation and complaints — but, hey, any Press is good press (although in fact, as the NFL knows very well, that's not always true). That it all culminated with the Chiefs' second straight Super Bowl victory, a beer drinking on a Jumbotron, and an on-field kiss between Kelce and Swift — really, you can't make this stuff up.

So, to mark the end of the first season of TS X TK This isn't necessarily an attempt to quantify the “Taylor Swift effect” on the NFL, because the tough answers are honestly kind of boring. The real “answer,” such as it is, lies in the question itself, in the ineffable nature of fame (or something like it). So get started The “electric feeling” of MGMT and let's look back at the last five crazy months, during which we, as a culture, devoured everything Swift-Kelce-NFL like a “squirrel” break a “piece of bread”.

NFL TV audiences are growing thanks to Taylor Swift: Actually, it turns out this one is difficult to measure. After Swift started showing up at games in late September, reports surfaced that overall rating increases, particularly among women in the 12-17 and 18-49 demographic groups. NBC said it attracted 27 million viewers – including 2 million additional female viewers – when the Chiefs faced the New York Jets on October 1, 2023, with Swift in attendance, making it the second most popular Sunday NFL broadcast since the previous Super Bowl.

Recently, however, the (non-pejorative) data enthusiasts of The New York Times did its due diligence to determine whether Swift made NFL games, or even just Chiefs games, more popular. The results were mixed, with the writers ultimately ruling: “Some Swift fans tuned in, but it's not clear they dented the NFL's already enormous popularity.”

Travis Kelce Jersey Sales: After Swift attended her first Chiefs game on September 24, the NFL's official e-commerce partner, Fanatics, revealed that Kelce jerseys saw a 400% increase in sales. A few months later, Kelce and his brother, now-retired Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, noted on their podcast that they would become the number one and number two best-selling NFL jerseys in the UK. More recent jersey data is not readily available, although a PR firm sent me a very large number of emails about the research data (more on that later) claims that the research Googles for “Travis Kelce jersey” jumped 2,252% after last night’s Super Bowl victory.

Ticket sales: Again, somewhat vague, although marketplaces like StubHub reported that sales Chiefs home games soared 235% after Swift attended his first game.

Number of Chiefs games Taylor Swift attended:13 (again, you really can't make this stuff up). Swift attended nine regular season games and four playoff games, including the Super Bowl.

Kansas City Chiefs record in games Taylor Swift played in: 10 wins, three losses.

Famous friends brought to the games: 15 — Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Sophie Turner, Sabrina Carpenter, Alana Haim, Ice Spice, RiotUSA, Ashley Avignone, Miles Teller, Keleigh Sperry, Antoni Porowski, Cara Delevingne, Shawn Levy and Lana Del Rey.

Taylor Swift's Total Screen Time During Super Bowl LVIII: 55 seconds (by USA today).

Estimated Average Screen Time Taylor Swift Received During NFL Games She Attended: About 25 seconds (per The New York Times).

What's not football related and received the second-longest screen time, after Taylor Swift (44 seconds), during the Chiefs' AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens: People preparing, serving and eating crab cakes (27 seconds, via a dedicated man with a stopwatch, Jason Pauley)

Awards monologues show NFL camera crews still turn to Taylor Swift during Chiefs games: Two, one bad (Jo Koy at the Golden Globes), one pretty good (Trevor Noah at the Grammys; even Swift was laughing).

Changes to the song lyrics: One. While performing in Argentina – with Kelce in attendance thanks to a well-scheduled week off – Swift changed the lyrics to “Karma,” singing: “Karma is the Chiefs guy, he's coming straight to my house . »

Culminate Billboard position in the vinyl album ranking For A Special Christmas in Philadelphiaa charity album featuring Travis and Jason Kelce's Philadelphia-specific take on the Pogues' “Fairytale of New York”: Number Two (for the luxury edition) and Number Three (for the 2023 edition). At number one, you guessed it, 1989 (Taylor version).

Dollar amount proposed by Machine Gun Kelly for Kelce to move from the Chiefs to the Cleveland Browns: $500,000 (that seems a bit low, actually).

Tony Romo, Times NFL commentator accidentally referred to Swift as Kelce's “wife”: A.

Emails I received regarding the “skyrocketing” search data regarding Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce and/or the NFL: My poor inbox.

Deranged right-wing conspiracies involving Swift, Kelce, NFL 'writers' and the 2024 election: Oh, very.

Estimated CO2 emissions from a private jet owned by Taylor Swift as she traveled between Chiefs games, Eras Tour dates and other commitments: 138 tons of CO2 over a period of three months — allegedly!!!

Tendency

Articles on RollingStone.com tagged Travis Kelce published before September 24, 2023: Three.

Articles on RollingStone.com tagged Travis Kelce published after September 24, 2023: 60 (including this one).





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