NFL’s Financial Boost: Taylor Swift Dating Travis Kelce Before the Super Bowl Sparks Insane Revenue Surge

Let’s talk about Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, the Super Bowl, and just how much money we’re talking about here.

Fans hold signs for Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers last October.

 Photo: Kara Durrette/Getty Images

Let’s talk about Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and the Super Bowl.

In fact, let’s focus on something very specific: just how much money the NFL is making because Swift and Kelce have been very publicly dating, in advance of the Super Bowl.

A few data points:

A survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers finds that fully 16 percent of Americans say the fact that Swift has been showing up at Kansas City Chiefs games — and will almost certainly be at the Super Bowl in a week — has influenced them to spend money on football.

That’s truly astounding. Let’s do a bit of math on it:

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were 335,893,238 Americans alive on January 1, so 16 percent would mean 53,742,918 people.
The most common expenses that this 16 percent said they planned to spend on included “jerseys and memorabilia or a streaming service to watch a game.”
Even just pulling a very conservative number out of the air — say, $30, although a jersey alone would be a multiple of that), we’re already at $1.5 billion, and we’re just getting started.

Next up, let’s look at the Chiefs themselves. They’re now worth $331.5 million more, simply as a result of the added attention and brand value that Swift’s affinity for them adds to the team.

(It almost leaves you feeling badly for the San Francisco 49ers, since most news stories about Swift and the Chiefs barely mention the team they’ll be playing in the Super Bowl.)

And of course, Swift’s presence has led to NFL viewership among women and girls — especially teenagers — far above what there was before. Marketwatch estimated NFL female viewership rose 53% over last year among ages 12 to 17, 34% among those over 35, and 24% among those 18 to 24.

As speculation grew recently over whether Swift will be at the Super Bowl, since she has a concert in Tokyo the night before, the “will-she or won’t-she” is only adding to the hype.

Spoiler alert: She’ll be there.

Even the Japanese Embassy in Washington is in on the action, issuing a pun-filled, Taylor Swift-referencing statement via Twitter that reassures fans she can get the Super Bowl to see the Chiefs despite the 12-hour flight and 17-hour time difference.

(No reference at all to the 49ers, though; see what I mean?)

Look, I don’t claim to have any unique takeaways here. I do think that if you’re not paying attention to the dollars involved and the opportunity, you should be.

And, I can’t tell you how to get Swift to suddenly become a very public fan of whatever it is that your business does, and boost your brand by a few hundred million dollars. (If I knew, I’d do it myself.)

But I can tell you this: It’s sometimes a lot easier to get attention by latching onto whatever people are already paying attention to — rather than trying to come up with something unique.

Right now, people are paying attention to Taylor Swift and the Super Bowl. Maybe your business should be, too.

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