Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce really are dating. Who knows how serious it is, or how serious it will get, but on Sunday the most famous woman in the world willingly attended a Chicago Bears game. So sacrifices are already being made. Swift sat next to Kelce's mother and reacted appropriately when Kelce and the Chiefs succeeded on the field.
That was the easy part. Swift showed up, made headlines, provided a new reaction GIF that will live on forever. So what now? Well, how about she takes the NFL up a notch in popularity. What if she could accomplish what Amazon Prime wanted Dude Perfect to do with an alternate broadcast, but all she had to do was show up and watch? What if Swift just showing up is all the NFL actually needs to get the casual fans who only tune into the Super Bowl to watch the regular season?
We've heard about the effect of Taylor Swift on the American economy for months. Absurd numbers have been floated and "reported" throughout the duration of the mega-successful Eras Tour. Fans supposedly spend $1,300-$1,500 and boost a local economy by "hundreds of millions" in a single weekend. It all sounds like bullshit, but this is a passionate fanbase.
Which is why I have to ask if the NFL and its broadcast partners are about to see a Taylor Swift bump.
The Chiefs next game is on NBC's Sunday Night Football against the New York Jets. This matchup lost a lot of luster when the Jets lost Aaron Rodgers for the season in their opener. Now people have to tune in to watch Zach Wilson. With Rodgers versus Mahomes, this would have been a marquee matchup. With Wilson, it should be a complete dud. But you throw in the possiblity that Taylor Swift is shown on the broadcast cheering for Travis Kelce and apparently there are a bunch of people who care about this. She couldn't really provide a ratings boost? Or will NBC release the ratings next week and we'll all just think it's because of the usual NYC stuff?
Week 5 probably won't provide any answers either as the Chiefs will play the late-afternoon window on CBS with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on the call. They'll only be up against Jets-Broncos, which should be horrid so there's another asterisks.
The real test will come on October 12th when the Chiefs host the Broncos on Thursday Night Football. How many new Prime subscribers will sign up so that they can watch Taylor Swift watch Travis Kelce? Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Or will they all just borrow their parents' logins?
Over the next 13 weeks the Chiefs have six standalone games, six late-afternoon games, one 1 p.m. kickoff and a bye. During those afternoon games will YouTube see new subscribers? Will the only Taylor Swift ticket fans need become Sunday Ticket? Will Travis Kelce be able to hold on that long? Will anyone watch the games on Thanksgiving since Kelce and Swift will be home watching the games away from the cameras?
These are the quesitons we'll be answering over the next few months as we learn about the true economic impact of Taylor Swift. If she's truly big enough to take the only thing on television that matters - live football broadcasts - and make them bigger and more profitable, then we'll know that the real Eras tour was the football games we saw along the way.