Examining Taylor Swift’s massive impact on the NFL thanks to Swifties

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The 2023 NFL season kicked off with rumors of a potential relationship between Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. What started out as speculation of a potential romance has turned into a “Love Story” for all involved, including the NFL.

Swift attended her first Chiefs game in support of Kelce on September 2024, 2023. She immediately caught the attention of social media and TV cameras, with her appearance confirming the relationship between the two stars. Months later, the Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl and Swifties are becoming one of the most important groups for the NFL today.

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Here’s the measured impact Swift has had on the NFL since she started dating Kelce.

How Taylor Swift is making the NFL more popular, generating stunning revenue

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NFL: Pro Bowl Games-Camping World Stadium Views
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For a league with ambitions of making $25 billion in annual revenue by 2030, the NFL was going to take help from wherever it could find it. While the Swift-Kelce relationship was an unlikely source of growth for pro football, she has already made a long-term impact on the NFL’s business goals.

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Apex Marketing Group told Front Office Sports that Swift’s relationship with Kelce and the Swifties’ new interest in football has generated the equivalent of $331.5 million of brand value for the NFL and the Chiefs this season.

In 2020, the NFL announced that women and girls account for approximately 47 percent of its fanbase. However, the league has been wanting to increase that percentage for years. It’s now been estimated that at least 50 percent of NFL fans are females.

When Swift attended the Chiefs vs New York Jets game earlier this year on Oct. 2, it was the most-watched game in the NFL since Super Bowl LVII. Just as importantly for the league’s TV partners, NBC reported a 53 percent spike in viewership among girls aged 12 to 17.

Taylor Swift’s influence on NFL TV ratings

AFC Championship Game47.851 million avg. viewers55.47 million avg. viewers
AFC Divisional Round (Chiefs’ game)39.32 million avg. viewers50.39 million avg. viewers
NFL TV ratings (regular season)16.7 million avg. viewers17.9 million avg. viewers

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The bigger audience and larger presence of female fans also means more sponsorship opportunities for the NFL. The Wrap found that the NFL is experiencing a 20 percent gain in sponsorship this season, largely tied to more women viewers. There are even examples of it for Super Bowl LVIII, with companies like L’Oreal, e.l.f Cosmetics and Dove purchasing 30-second ad spots in the Super Bowl for the first time in decades.

NFL audience growth with Taylor Swift

Demographic (Ages)Year-to-Year Growth
12-1753% increase
18-2424% increase
35+34% increase
Statiistics via CBS 8

Swift’s relationship with Kelce could also mean even more for the NFL’s future. As countless fathers have shared on social media and with The Washington Post, Swift dating Kelce and her presence at NFL games has led to their daughters expressing a genuine interest in football and is culminating in stronger bonds being formed with a shared interest in the NFL.

Taylor Swift’s social media and merchandise impact on the NFL, Travis Kelce

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
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Swift isn’t only impacting NFL television ratings, jersey sales and interest in pro football. Since the initial rumors of Swift and Kelce dating, the social media following for the Chiefs’ tight end and the NFL has changed dramatically.

Social Media ProfileFollowers before Swift-KelceFollowers in February 2024
Travis Kelce – Instagram (@killatrav)2.8 million followers5.8 million followers
Jason Kelce – Instagram (@jason.kelce)1.2 million followers (estimate)2.1 million followers
Kansas City Chiefs – Instagram (@Chiefs)2.6 million3.6 million followerss
NFL – Instagram (@NFL)28 million followers29.3 million followers
New Heights – YouTube channel882,000 subscribers2.14 million subscribers
“New Heights” is the podcast hosted by Jason and Travis Kelce

Swift’s influence has also resulted in a massive influx of jersey sales for the NFL. While Chiefs’ jerseys have become one of the most coveted among NFL teams, the sudden interest from Swifties in Travis and Jason Kelce has also done wonders for their jersey sales.

In 2022, neither of the Kelce brothers ranked in the top 10 of NFL jersey sales. In 2023, per nflshop.com, Jason has the fifth top-selling jersey while Travis has the ninth-most jersey sales in pro football. Speaking to the Chiefs’ increased popularity, Patrick Mahomes has the fourth-highest jersey sales in the NFL.

Highlighting Kelce’s growth, Fanatics told Business Insider that Kelce’s jersey is experiencing a near 400 percent growth over the last week. It’s the second time this season that Kelce’s Chiefs jersey had a 400 percent increase in sales.

While some NFL fans will continue to complain about TV cameras cutting to Swift, broadcasters talking about her relationship with Kelce and the NFL embracing all of this, the bottom line is simple. Taylor Swift has been phenomenal for the NFL and her rare ability to create an even stronger audience for the sport in the future, while helping fathers and daughters build bonds over the NFL, is a great outcome for everyone.

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