Why, in your wildest dreams, has the NFL seen a rise in female viewership?
By Khaoula Choual, Contributor
The internet’s favourite couple, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, are taking over the National Football League (NFL), whether you like it or not.
The famed romance between the two high-profile stars first began when Kelce, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, attended Swift’s Eras Tour show at the Chiefs’ home field, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. During the show, Kelce fumbled his first effort at courting Swift when his attempt to offer the singer a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it failed.
“I was disappointed that she doesn’t talk before or after her shows because she has to save her voice for the 44 songs that she sings,” Kelce said in his shared podcast with brother Jason, New Heights.
Kelce further admitted to his brother that he was “butthurt” after being denied an opportunity to connect with Swift at the concert.
However, Kelce would only need to wait a few months for Swift to finally notice him. On Sept. 24, Swift returned the favour to Kelce by attending the Chiefs’ football game against the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium — sending ‘Swifties’ and football fans spiraling.
Swift’s rumored romance with the two-time, Super Bowl champion has led to a spark of interest among her Swifties’ and the female demographic regarding both Kelce and the Chiefs.
As Swift and Kelce’s relationship blossomed in the public eye, jersey sales for Kelce’s uniform also increased by nearly 400 per cent, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the week after Swift made her first appearance at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs hit the road for a game against the New York Jets. For the second-straight week, Swift along with other pop culture stars, including actors Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, were in attendance for the Chiefs game in New York City’s MetLife Stadium. Her appearance at the game led to an explosion of views, as 27 million people tuned into the game. The feat made it the most watched Sunday show since the Super Bowl, last February.
According to the CBC, the Sunday night game between the Chiefs and Jets was the most streamed NFL regular season game ever.
With a spike in female viewership exceeding two million, Swift’s participation undoubtedly contributed to the broadcast’s record figures and creating an atmosphere that essentially exceeded the game itself.
However, not all football fans have been vibing with the constant mention of Swift during Chiefs games. In response to the NFL panning back to Swift on 17 different occasions during her visit to MetLife Stadium, even Kelce had something to say about the increased coverage.
“I think it’s fun when they show who all is at the game,” Kelce admitted to his brother on their podcast.
“I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you’re watching. But at the same time, they’re overdoing it a little bit for sure.”
In response, the NFL politely clapped back by defending their decision to overload their media with coverage on both the Chiefs and Swift.
“We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” an NFL spokesperson shared with PEOPLE magazine.
“The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we’ve leaned into in real time, as it’s an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we’ve seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport.”
So, it seems that as long as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift stay a pair and the NFL remains interested in taking advantage of their fling, the disgruntled football audience will be forced to swallow their ‘Bad Blood’ if they plan on continuing to watch the Kansas City Chiefs hit the field.