This week, sports and pop culture intertwined as Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and singer Taylor Swift set the world ablaze with dating rumors, or better yet, a perfect marketing touchdown.
While everyone tries to dissect the exact nature of the “Tayvis” crossover, Kelce is learning firsthand that even the rumor of dating Swift is good for business. A major success in his own right, Kelce built a reputation as one of the best tight ends in the NFL with 71 career touchdowns and 825 recorded receptions over 10,000 yards during his 11 seasons. After being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, the superstar brought home two Super Bowl wins in 2019 and 2022.
Despite his impressive performance on the field, his activities off the field are behind the recent surge in his business success.
Here are five signs you’re “dating”/”taking it slow”/signed a tightly bound marketing agreement and NDA with a “high value” woman:
1. Your Podcast Isn’t Just Talk
Kelce’s New Heights podcast now sits at #1 on both Apple’s ‘Top Shows’ and ‘Sports Podcasts’ charts.
New Heights is also #1 on Spotify’s ‘Top Sports Podcasts’ list and hit #4 on Spotify’s ‘Top USA Podcasts,’ trailing only spot behind Joe Rogan who secured the #3 spot…for now.
Kelce co-hosts the podcast with his brother, Jason, a center for the Philadelphia Eagles. Although the show focused on NFL trends and sports insights, the brothers suggested they will deviate from their usual sports coverage to now speak about Travis’ “not so personal” life.
New Episode. TOMORROW. 👀
— New Heights (@newheightshow) September 27, 2023
2. Merch Madness
According to Fanatics, leading sportswear and fan merchandise company, Kelce’s jersey experienced a 400% spike in sales, placing it in the NFL’s top five on Sunday. Sales spiked after Swift attended one game, the Chiefs vs. Bears matchoff.
Kelce’s jersey began the season at the 19th spot, never breaking top 10 until this weekend when it skyrocketed to top five.
3. Your growth rises
After game day weekend, Kelce experienced a 276% increase in Instagram growth, topping three million followers.
According to Social Blade data, leading up to Sunday’s game, the Chiefs tight end peaked at a 32,189 follower gain on September 18.
Right after Swift’s appearance, Kelce gained 252,863 followers in 24 hours followed by an additional 230,561 the following day. The NFL superstar wasn’t the only one benefiting from Swift’s popularity as the Chiefs team account also gained 15,000 followers during the weekend, totaling over two million followers.
Taylor Swift sits on 273M Instagram followers, one of the largest in the entertainment industry alongside her 94 million on X (formerly Twitter).
The NFL jumped on the Tayvis marketing bandwagon by changing its bio on X to “NFL (Taylor’s Version)” as a reference to Taylor’s album – Fearless (Taylor’s Version). It also changed its header photo to an image of Swift cheering at the Chiefs-Bears game. After Swift’s support at Arrowhead Stadium, Stubhub ticket sales for the Chiefs’ home games increased threefold overnight.
Kelce’s reported annual earnings are roughly $12.3 million while Swift earned $13 million each night on her Eras tour.
4. Additional trophy to display
According to Fox Sports, Swift’s presence at the game also impacted television ratings with 24.3 million viewers tuning in.
The broadcast was the most watched NFL game on any network last week and saw an increase in female viewers. Compared to the Chiefs’ previous matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chiefs vs. Bears game saw a 63% increase in female viewership aged 12-49.
In the afterglow of Sunday, America's Game of the Week scored the week's most-watched telecast on any network.
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) September 26, 2023
Chiefs-Bears was the most-watched NFL game on any network this week — averaging 24.3 million viewers on FOX 👀
It also ranked first for women age 12-49. pic.twitter.com/kzHBR9rP86
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 26, 2023
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