A connection between the pop star, Taylor Swift and NFL wing, Travis Kelce, unleashed an uproar among fans. The rumored relationship marks a collision between two of the most powerful forces in American pop culture, juggernaut Swift in the midst of her record-breaking Eras Tour and the National Football League.
The pairing seems all but confirmed when Swift showed up in Travis Kelce’s suite at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, where he cheered wildly when the tight end caught a three-yard touchdown pass in a 41-10 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Her appearance set social media on fire, where fans scrutinized Swift’s every move his pranks on Kelce’s mom, Donna, down to the sauces she accompanied with a half-game appetizer. The telecast of the game even played Swift’s celebrations in slow motion.
“Along with the NFL, which we all know is the one that has sparked the most television viewers and interest in the entire sports landscape… I don’t want to call it marriage but it’s clear that it’s a perfect match in the short term, from a media and ticketing standpoint,” said Adam Budelli, spokesman for ticket sales platform StubHub.
What is true
THE relationship between athletes and celebrities they are not new. Jets Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath is famous for his off-field flings with models and actresses, which earned him a reputation as one of the Big Apple’s most coveted bachelors in the 1960s and 1970s.
But Swift, whose fame is greater than that of Kelce, brings megawatt star power almost unprecedented, even in the NFL. Sporting goods retailer Fanatics, the official e-commerce partner of the NFL, said there is a nearly 400% increase in Travis Kelce jersey sales on its websites, including NFLShop.com, on Sunday, placing it among the top five best-selling NFL jerseys.
Kelce, a guest host on “Saturday Night Live” after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this year, is no stranger to the spotlight as the ratings and unstoppable attention follow Superbowl winners. But Swift’s appearance at Sunday’s game sparked an explosion of interest in the eight-time Pro Bowler, the whose followers on social networks increased by 300,000.
Kelce said on his “New Heights” podcast — which rose from No. 158 on Apple’s charts earlier this month to No. 1 this week – that he started seeing paparazzi outside his house. “I’m bringing all this attention to myself,” Kelce said. “What is true is that this is my personal life and I want to respect the lives of both”.