NFL: Swift at Super Bowl could be a game time decision

January 30, 2024 - 11:48 AM
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (center) walks off the field after the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship football game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. (Tommy Gilligan-USA Today Sports)

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is sure to be in Las Vegas for the Feb. 11 Super Bowl showdown with the San Francisco 49ers but whether his girlfriend, mega-pop star Taylor Swift, will also be present to add some stardust to the occasion is looking like a game time decision.

Swift was in the stands cheering and was then caught on camera congratulating her boyfriend with a hug and kiss after the Chiefs 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, immediately sparking speculation whether one of the world’s biggest selling recording artists will be at Allegiant Stadium.

A regular at Chiefs games all season, Swift could miss the biggest game of all due to scheduling conflicts with her “Eras Tour” which has her performing in Tokyo on Feb. 10, the night before the Super Bowl.

With the time difference Swift could get to Las Vegas for kickoff on Sunday but will then have to quickly get back on a plane for three concerts in Melbourne, Australia staring Feb. 16.

Some fans will be flying Air Swift to the Super Bowl, with United Airlines on Monday adding additional direct flights to Las Vegas from Kansas City with specially themed Swift related flight numbers.

The flights will be lettered UA1989 for Swift’s birth year and one of her albums, UA2287 for the Grammy winner’s hit song “22” and Kelce’s jersey number 87 and UA1587 for Kelce and quarterback Patrick Mahome’s sweater numbers.

To ensure they are not seen to be taking sides, United Airlines also said it will be putting on additional direct flights from San Francisco and San Jose with 49ers themes.

Two of the most powerful forces in American pop culture, the Kelce-Swift romance has been pure gold for the National Football League. It has spiked interest across social media and increased merchandise sales with Swift bringing along her army of fans known as ‘Swifties”.

Sports merchandise retailer Fanatics, the NFL’s official e-commerce partner, said in September there was a nearly 400% spike in sales of Travis Kelce jerseys on its websites.

Such is the fascination in the power couple that Swift-Kelce became one of the 2023’s most popular Halloween costumes.

Swift, whose fame far eclipses that of Kelce’s, brings megawatt star power that is virtually unprecedented – even in the NFL – her mere presence in Las Vegas could make the game the most watched Super Bowl of all-time.

The love story, according to research done by Apex Marketing Group, has brought millions of dollars of added brand value to the Chiefs and the NFL.

“Taylor Swift association with Travis Kelce and appearances at the Chiefs game has generated an equivalent brand value of $331.5 million for the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL” said Apex president Eric Smallwood to Reuters in an email.

“The equivalent brand value “EBV” is derived from exposure received by Swift/Chiefs from Sept. 24 – Jan 22nd, from various media (TV, radio, newsprint, digital news, social media).”

— Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar