The DeMatha Stagline

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The DeMatha Stagline

The DeMatha Stagline

Students show off some of the awards the brought back to Hyattsville from Myrtle Beach on the 2023 Music Trip.
Music Trip 2024
April 15, 2024

Kelce & Swift: the NFL’s Favorite Romance

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The NFL is an organization. Its services allow for people with all-world talent to compete at the highest level, and for more people to religiously cheer or jeer said players. More importantly, at least in the executives’ eyes, the NFL is also a business whose main objective is to sell more tickets, and make as much money as they can.

Throughout its history, the NFL has made several decisions that have been lucrative or viewership-based, to its fans’ dismay. Some examples include the NFL’s exclusive Thursday Night Football deal with Amazon Prime and the NFL’s exclusive two-game partnership with Peacock which includes one playoff game. Despite this, the NFL’s most recent and arguably biggest incentive-based decision is the promotion of Taylor Swift.

Leading up to Week 3 of the 2023 season, rumors began to emerge that NFL superstar Travis Kelce was dating world superstar Taylor Swift. During that week’s game, those rumors were confirmed when the pop singer showed up at Arrowhead Stadium rooting for the Chiefs. From that week on, the NFL has referenced Swift constantly, promoting her on its telecasts as if the NFL was contractually obligated to do so.

Taylor Swift, right, watches from a suite alongside Travis Kelce’s mother, Donna Kelce, inside Arrowhead Stadium during the first half of an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Its greatest example of this came during the Week 4 Sunday primetime game between the Chiefs and New York Jets. The NFL first centered its weekly Sunday Night Football promotion ad to Swift. The ad exclaimed that its goal was to educate “the legion of Swifties” on football, and showed a snapshot of the NFL Twitter’s bio stating “NFL (Taylor’s Version).” Then, after a 59-yard touchdown run by Chiefs running back Isiash Pacheco, the broadcast cut to Taylor Swift celebrating, even though Kelce wasn’t the one who scored. Lastly, during a commercial break, the NFL aired the movie trailer of Swift’s new movie The Eras Tour. This movie promotion was requested to be shown by the NFL and became the first concert movie the NFL has ever promoted.

The influx of Taylor Swift promotion from the NFL has been irritating to a lot of its fans. When asked to give his thoughts on the situation, senior Hunter King emphasized that he “personally hates it” because he believes the league is “doing too much.” When asked to expand on that, King stated that he believes the Swift drama is “a distraction from the games,” and concluded by saying that the greater emphasis on things that are “not football” leads to “more of a problem.” The talk of Swift from the NFL has resulted in her being arguably the biggest story of the NFL season. The NFL has caused Swift to overshadow its own teams, damaging, to an extent, the thrill of the games.

Although lots of NFL fans cannot stand the constant Swift promotions, the majority of them understand why the league is doing it. When asked to continue commenting on the Swift situation, King stated that it is good for the NFL “as a business” because of the “revenue it can generate.”

The NFL has profited immensely from its promotion of Taylor Swift. Since the partnering of Kelce and Swift, “Swifties” have caused Kelce’s jersey sales to rise by over 400%. This has resulted in Kelce being in the top 15 for highest-selling NFL jerseys and becoming the highest-selling jersey for women, overtaking his brother Jason Kelce.

The influence of Swift has also allowed female viewership of the NFL games she attends to increase. In the aforementioned Chiefs vs Jets game, female viewership increased by 53% for ages 12-17 and by 24% for ages 18-24. In her most recently attended game, a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Chiefs and the Broncos, female viewership increased by 29% and 19% for those two age ranges, respectively.

The NFL has also caused Swift to profit immensely, as well, most notably through its promotion of her movie. As previously stated, the NFL ran promos of the movie during the Chiefs-Jets game. With that traction, The Eras Tour has netted over 96 million dollars in only its first week, becoming the second most profitable movie in October and the most profitable concert movie of all time.

The NFL-Taylor Swift relationship is stronger than ever, causing the NFL to love it and its fans to despise it. With the Chiefs garnering Super Bowl aspirations, this period in time could only be the surface of the NFL-Swift affair.

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