• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Viewership Records and Crying Swifties: Taylor Swift and the NFL’s Budding Business Relationship

  • The pop star led the NFL to its highest regular-season viewership among women since it began tracking in 2000.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Travis Kelce ‘Love Story’ impacts Swifties and their financial decisions.
Chiefs fans wave Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce cutouts at Arrowhead Stadium.

Everybody knows Taylor Swift has had a massive impact on the NFL this year, and many might be wondering exactly how to measure it. Now, some of the results are in.

Swift has generated an equivalent brand value of $331.5 million for the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL, Apex Marketing Group tells Front Office Sports. That number, calculated Jan. 22, comes from print, digital, radio, TV, highlights, and social media mentioning Swift going back to her first game on Sept. 24, then figuring out the equivalent dollar value for each instance based on reach and impact. Online news and digital content has created the most value, followed by social media, Apex president Eric Smallwood says. For reference, back in mid-October, that figure sat at $166 million, Smallwood says.

Swift’s impact, of course, goes beyond brand value. Her fans are tuning in, paying up, and latching onto the big personalities of Travis and Jason Kelce.

Despite not showing up until Week 3, she helped boost viewership, especially for young and female fans. The league clocked its highest regular-season female viewership since it began tracking in 2000, and the best regular season among 18-34-year-olds since 2019. From last year’s regular season to this year’s, male viewership increased by 6%, while female viewership rose by 9%.

While Swift isn’t the only reason people are tuning into Chiefs games, she’s helped cement them as a top TV draw. One example: Last year’s divisional win over the Jacksonville Jaguars drew an average of 34.3 million viewers. Last week’s divisional win over the Buffalo Bills set an all-time record of 50.4 million average viewers.

Naturally, women’s fan apparel has seen similar returns. Kristin Juszczyk, the wife of San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who makes custom NFL apparel for celebrities, gained more than 500,000 social media followers after Swift wore her custom design to a game. Travis Kelce’s jersey sales exploded, increasing by roughly 400% after Swift’s first appearance. And a small business in Kansas City is feeling the love, too, after Swift ordered and wore their vintage Chiefs apparel.

“We’ve had hundreds of orders over the last 48 hours,” store owner Chris Harrington told Business Insider. “Sometimes our online store lights up after a Chiefs game when we win, but this is 100 times more than that, and we lost the game. It was the Taylor effect.”

Yes, Swifties Are Becoming Football Fans

Commissioner Roger Goodell said in 2020 that women make up 47% of the NFL’s fanbase, a number that has undoubtedly increased this season. But that’s not just because Swifties tune in to watch their favorite superstar get a few seconds of airtime throughout the broadcast. 

The Kelce brothers’ charisma and candidness about Swift on their New Heights podcast has provided ample lovable soundbites that translate to rooting interest.

“I decided to listen to ‘Fearless’ 15 years ago and now I’m crying over her boyfriend’s older brother crying on a bench in a football stadium,” one Swift fan posted after Jason Kelce’s last game of the season, referring to the singer’s sophomore album.

Unsurprisingly, the relationship impacts Swifties and their financial decisions a lot. Swift’s fans are about three times more likely to buy sports merchandise because of the “Love Story,” and about twice as likely to both explore sports content and tune in for games including the Super Bowl, according to a survey from Adtaxi.

A Chiefs win on Sunday would create an extra two weeks of buzz among Swifties and 92%ers (the name for New Heights fans). A Chiefs title could change the course of human history (maybe). That’s even without confirmation of Swift’s attendance: she performs in Tokyo the night before the game, but FOS crunched the numbers and found she could logistically make it in time for kickoff. Call that “Girl Math (Taylor’s Version).”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Everything You Need To Know About the Legal Attempts To Kill the ACC

Four lawsuits involving the conference, Clemson, and FSU could determine the future.

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
Dec 27, 2023; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Kyron Hudson (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Petco Park.

Hearings Have Concluded in the Pivotal USC Athlete Employment Case. What’s Next?

The potentially landmark labor case could end the NCAA amateurism model.

NBA’s Lifetime Ban Highlights Surge in Gambling-Related Incidents

The NBA’s lifetime ban on Jontay Porter marks a crescendo of escalating incidents across the industry.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Randy Johnson, Bird Savior


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

The WNBA Boom Goes Beyond Caitlin Clark

Ticket sales and prices are way up from last year.
April 18, 2024

NBA Media Rights Likely Headed for Open Market Next Week

The league is reportedly letting Monday’s deadline pass without a deal.
April 23, 2024

Long Saga of Botched Timberwolves Sale Heads to Mediation

The battle for the team could be resolved before next season, an expert says.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 17, 2024

Women’s Golf Has Five—Not Four—Majors, and That’s a Good Thing

The Chevron Championship tees of Thursday outside of Houston.
April 17, 2024

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Gambling Investigation

The NBA found that Porter gave injury information to sports gamblers, among other violations.
April 17, 2024

Warriors Missing Playoffs Has Big-Money Consequences

The NBA is losing one of its biggest postseason draws.
April 17, 2024

Even Joe Biden Is Surprised By Caitlin Clark Making $76K

The president posted Tuesday night about pay disparities in sports.