Since rumors first swirled about her romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, it’s been clear that Taylor Swift’s presence would add tremendous value to the NFL. But just how much was unclear.
Apex Marketing Group has been monitoring the pop megastar’s connections with the NFL to figure out just how much she’s adding to the bottom line, and it’s hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Kansas City Chiefs have added an equivalent brand value of $331.5 million as the team heads to the Super Bowl after Sunday’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens, according to Apex’s study. Eric Smallwood, president of the marketing group, said in an interview with Fortune that the value of the brand campaign was measured by tracking mentions, photographs, or news stories about Swift tied to the Chiefs or the NFL from the end of last September to Jan. 22.
An equivalent brand value, he said, is established by using a database called Proprietary to understand the reach, or viewership, of several media streams. On TV, he explained, a game could broadcast to 50 million viewers, while a radio segment could air to thousands of listeners. “Everything has its own metric tied to it,” he said. “It depends on how much traffic it gets.”
NFL audience swells as Swift joins the fandom
Swift’s power to sway is already visible, as reports of a much bigger audience tuning in to broadcast games and a rise in female viewers are combining to revamp and redefine the typical Super Bowl audience. According to Front Office Sports, the NFL recorded its highest regular-season female viewership since it began tracking numbers in 2000, with female viewership rising by 9% in the past year.
Look no further than TikTok for all the new (female) NFL fans, as more than 5 million users have viewed the hashtag #footballswifties, to document a growing group of girls tuning into major league games.
The viewership overall is booming. Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs’ epic game with the Buffalo Bills set a new record for the most-watched divisional playoff game in history, with more than 50 million viewers tuned in. The previous week, NBCUniversal’s Peacock service made history by airing the first ever playoff game only via streaming, drawing in a huge 23 million rating and millions of new subscribers.
Swift and Kelce’s relationship kicked off last summer, and her big name quickly brought in even more exposure for the football team that has been the NFL’s marquee team of the past half-decade, with rising broadcast viewers and merchandise sales for the perennial Super Bowl favorite. In September, the NFL reported that sales for Travis Kelce’s jersey shot up nearly 400% after Swift was spotted at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City watching him play.
Kelce’s own value has skyrocketed. According to Yahoo News, with endorsements from McDonald’s, Nike, Bud Light, and State Farm, Kelce’s net worth stands at about $40 million, a roughly $10 million gain from a previous estimate in just October. It’s still only a fraction of his girlfriend’s net worth of $1.1 billion, though.
Big businesses have even taken to the skies to get in on the hype, as American Airlines added two Super Bowl flights: Flight AA 1989, named after Swift’s nine-time platinum album, will fly from Kansas City to Las Vegas on the day before the Super Bowl. Flight AA 87, named after Kelce’s jersey number, will make the return trip on Feb. 12.