How Taylor Swift is bringing the NFL to new heights

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By Dan Sears

It’s a “Love Story” between Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce — and the NFL is reaping the benefits.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football game featuring the Chiefs versus the New York Jets — and Swift in the stands — on Oct. 1 clocked some 27 million viewers, a 22% lift from last year’s Week 4 matchup, according to a Storyful newsletter on the surge, citing figures reported on by Variety.

The Taylor Swift effect extended beyond TV ratings when the songstress rolled up to see the Chiefs outlast the Denver Broncos on Oct. 13.

During the game, the 33-year-old’s loyal legion of Swifties noticed she was sporting an accessory aside from her usual red lipstick and gold jewelry: a canned cocktail.

She nursed a Casa Azul Tequila Soda to be exact — a ready-to-drink canned cocktail Kelce became an investor in earlier this year — as was seen in a clip of Swift from the Chiefs-Broncos game posed to NFL’s TikTok page, which boasts more than 6.1 million views.

The eight-second clip catapulted Casa Azul’s Google Search interest and website visitors by a staggering 188%, according to news intelligence agency Storyful.

Every time Taylor Swift has attended a Kansas City Chiefs game to support her beau, star tight end Travis Kelce, mentions of the 33-year-old songstress alongside the NFL spike across social media platforms, per Storyful.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football game featuring the Chiefs versus the New York Jets — and Swift, who was shown during the broadcast 17 times — clocked 27 million viewers, a 22% increase from last year’s Week 4 game.
After Heinz announced “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch” in reference to a viral photo of Swift at a Chief’s game, the company’s social media engagement spiked to 493,000, including 861-plus social media posts about the condiment.

Though Casa Azul didn’t lean into the pop cultural moment, Heinz offered a lesson in reactive marketing when it debuted a limited-edition dipping sauce called “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch” following a viral photo of Swift in Kelce’s VIP family suite that a popular fan account posted to X.

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“Taylor Swift was eating a piece of chicken with ketchup and seemingly ranch!” the image of Swift during the Chiefs-versus-Chicago Bears game said.

Heinz announced the sauce would be “coming soon” on its Instagram back in September, saying “it’s a new era for Heinz” in nod to Swift’s ultra-popular “Eras Tour,” though it doesn’t appear that the condiment is up for grabs just yet.

A company spokesperson told The Post at the time that just 100 bottles will be “going into production ASAP” — another nod to the Swift-Kelce romance, as Swift’s lucky number 13 plus Kelce’s jersey number, 87, add up to 100.

With the fast-acting marketing move, Heinz experienced a so-called Swift surge that saw its social media generating some 493,000 total engagements, including 861-plus social media posts about “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch,” per Storyful.

The Post has sought comment from Heinz.

Heinz has said it’ll only be releasing 100 “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch” bottles — a nod to the Swift-Kelce romance, as Swift’s lucky number 13 plus Kelce’s jersey number, 87, add up to 100.

The Chiefs-Jets game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, was also the most-watched Sunday games since the 57th Super Bowl that aired on Fox in February.

During the game, NBC leaned into the Swift-Kelce narrative, playing a special promo for the game featuring the singer’s 2014 hit “Welcome to New York,” and panning to Swift a staggering 17 times throughout the broadcast.

That Chiefs-Jets game saw a 53% spike in viewership among teen girls ages 12 to 17, a 24% increase in female viewership among 18-to-24-year-olds and a 34% jump in female viewers 35-plus, according to NBC. 

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In all, the broadcast had a collective increase in female views of more than 2 million.

Though the Jets stunned most of the football world with a comeback from a 17-0 first-half deficit to tie the score in the third quarter — though the NY team ultimately fell to its Kansas City rival 23-20 — the most buzz was around the star-studded suite where Swift, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Hugh Jackman and Kelce’s mom Donna watched the game.

Kelce’s Instagram following has swelled to a whopping 4.6 million since confirming his romance with Swift, marking a 3.5 million-follower increase since before the relationship.

The NFL basked in the viewership, changing the bio of its official Instagram account to “chiefs are 2-0 as swifties.”

The league also used “NFL (Taylor’s Version)” as its bio on X, formerly known as Twitter, and wrote “we had the best day with you” in its bio along with photos of Swift

However, the NFL scrubbed its social media bios of reference to Swift in the days since after fans — including Kelce himself — griped that it had taken things too far.

Naturally, Kelce has also cashed in on his whirlwind romance with the pop icon.

When rumors first began swirling of Swift’s new beau in September, the 33-year-old Chiefs tight end saw a 400% increase in merchandise sales, skyrocketing his jersey into a top-five selling jersey in the NFL.

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Female viewership rose a staggering 53%, to 2 million, during the Chiefs-Jets matchup on Oct. 1.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
The NFL has leaned into the buzz around the Swift-Kelce romance, though some fans have argued the league has taken it too far.
Getty Images
Taylor had a friendly companion in Brittany Mahomes when the Chiefs hosted the Chargers on Oct. 22.
Getty Images

Additionally, Kelce has saw his social media reach grow. In early September, he reportedly had some 1.1 million followers on Instagram.

After Swift’s appearance at the Chiefs-Bears game on Sept. 24, that figure ballooned by 300,000-plus within a week.

As of Tuesday, Kelce’s Instagram, where he goes by @killatrav, boasts more than 4.6 million followers — a staggering 3.5 million increase in less than two months.

All the while, Swift herself has been living out her “Wildest Dreams,” and officially achieved billionaire status late last month thanks to her ultra-popular Eras Tour and a blockbuster concert film by the same name.

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