How did Taylor Swift influence American Football?

With billions of streams across 12 #1 albums, one of the most successful tours in music history, and a fanbase known for their dedication and undying loyalty, basically everything Taylor Swift touches these days turns to gold. 

So, when the global pop superstar started dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in September 2023, it was only a matter of time before her influence started to affect America’s most popular sports league. 

And wouldn’t you know it, by season end the 2024 Super Bowl, where Swift was in attendance, was the most watched telecast of all time with 123.4 million US viewers, while betting sites like FanDuel Sportsbook reported record numbers of over $307 million in bets on the big game. 

But, Taylor Swift’s influence on football goes far beyond viewership numbers. Let’s take a look at how Taylor Swift has changed the financial landscape of the NFL almost single-handedly. 

The NFL meets the Taylor Swift effect

The Taylor Swift Effect is a simple concept. Where she goes, the money follows. 

This is mainly thanks to her massive fanbase, dubbed the Swifties, who have a reputation for supporting Swift to the max at all times. So, when she started appearing at Kansas City Chiefs games, it only makes sense that her hordes of supporters would follow, which we can see through the NFL’s change in viewership across different age groups.

In 2024, NFL viewership has increased by 24% among 18-24-year-olds, and a whopping 53% among teenage girls specifically, a trend that League Commissioner Roger Goodell welcomes with open arms. 

“Obviously, it creates a buzz,” he said. “It creates another group of young fans, particularly young women, that are interested in seeing why is she going to this game, why is she interested in this game besides Travis. She is a football fan.”

These newfound football fans aren’t just watching more games, they’re also buying more merchandise. After Taylor was spotted at the Chiefs football game for the first time, sales of Travis Kelce’s jersey on fanatics.com shot up over 400%.

The result? An additional $331.5 million in brand value for the Chiefs and the NFL according to Apex Marketing. 

Swift and Sponsorships

Although the increase in viewership from Swift’s recent attendance has certainly been a major money-maker for the league, sponsorships have also played a major role in her effect on the NFL landscape. 

As her financial gravity becomes apparent, many NFL sponsors are starting to fall into orbit. NFL sponsorship value increased to a record-high of $2.35 billion last season according to analyst group SponsorUnited.

One notable example of her impact on other companies came during the Chief’s 41-10 win over the Chicago Bears back on September 24th. At the game, Swift wore a custom pair of red and white New Balance 550s, which instantly saw a massive surge in web traffic to shoe companies’ online stores, culminating in a 25% boost over the following week.

Conclusion

Overall, Taylor Swift’s impact extends beyond her music, influencing fans through American football bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in added revenue while opening up the sport to an entirely new demographic of fans.

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