By: Jeremy Brandspiegel
In recent years, Taylor Swift has dominated the music industry with her songs and incredibly loyal fanbase. Her world tour, which began in March 2023 and is set to conclude in December 2024, has generated over $1 Billion. However, even with being center stage at her concerts, Swift is the center of another stage as well, the Super Bowl, and she is not even performing.
Swift, who has made headlines for dating Kansas City Chiefs star tight end, Travis Kelce, has been the center of attention all season for the National Football League (NFL). Whether you're a “Swiftie” or not, it's hard to overlook the positive impact she's had on the NFL by bringing a unique blend of star power and entertainment value to the league.
One area where Swift's influence has been drastic is the increase of viewership during NFL games, particularly games where she attends. Swift's attendance at 12 games this season has not only drawn attention, but has significantly contributed to increased viewership. The recent AFC Championship game, where the Chiefs won against the Baltimore Ravens to secure a spot in the Super Bowl, had over 55 million viewers – a record for the most-watched AFC Championship game, according to CBS Sports.
When questioned about the notable rise in viewership and the perceived "Taylor Swift effect," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the impact of Swift's presence. "I would tell you it's because of the great competition. The competition has been off the charts this year." He continued, "Having the 'Taylor Swift Effect' is also a positive. Obviously, it creates a buzz. It creates another group of young fans, particularly young women that are interested in seeing, 'Why is she going to this game? Why is she interested in this game?' Besides Travis, she is a football fan, and I think that's great for us," he told CNN.
Goodell's acknowledgment, while not direct, shows the undeniable impact Swift has had on broadening the NFL's audience. Her attendance has not only brought in many new fans, but has also created interest in people who previously were not football fans.
Swift's influence has extended beyond the stands and TV broadcasts, and has now reached the Super Bowl festivities. A Las Vegas venue has decided to host a Taylor-themed event during Super Bowl weekend according to TMZ. They even created a crafted cocktail named the "Red Lip Classic," inspired by Swift's signature makeup look. This event is a true display of the impact that Swift has become and the willingness of different industries to embrace and leverage her widespread appeal.
While some may not like when the broadcast shows Swift after a touchdown, or the fact that she is all over football related social media, Swift’s impact has been undeniable and the numbers speak for themselves. The NFL's decision to embrace Swift, not just as a celebrity attendee but as a cultural icon, demonstrates the league's adaptability and openness to new avenues of engagement.
Taylor Swift has undeniably injected a fresh and positive vibe into the NFL. Her presence has transcended the boundaries of music and sports, contributing to increased viewership, diverse audience engagement, and even inspiring Super Bowl-themed events. With the NFL’s biggest game upon us, all eyes will continue to be on Swift and we just may see the most watched Super Bowl ever.