Taylor Swift effect – Travis Kelce jersey sales spike nearly 400% – ESPN

  • ESPN News Services

Sep 26, 2024, 10:16 AM ET

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Taylor Swift’s trip to watch Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce play football Sunday didn’t just have the internet talking nonstop.

After the 12-time Grammy Award winner’s appearance at Arrowhead Stadium, jersey sales for the All-Pro tight end seemingly skyrocketed.

According to sportswear and fan merchandise company Fanatics, Kelce’s jersey was one of the top five for the NFL on Sunday. He “saw a nearly 400% spike in sales throughout the Fanatics network of sites, including NFLShop.com,” a spokesperson told The Associated Press via email.

Sales spiked on the same day that Swift was spotted watching the Chiefs play the Bears alongside Kelce’s mother, Donna, from one of Arrowhead’s glass-enclosed suites.

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Swift’s attendance also had a notable impact on the television ratings, as Fox Sports announced Tuesday that the game drew 24.3 million viewers, making it the weekend’s most-watched NFL contest.

Although those numbers were down approximately 8% from the same window a year ago, the ratings showed significant improvement in one demographic — females age 12-17 grew nearly 8% from a year ago. The broadcast also led in female audience in every major demographic.

Kelce did not speak to reporters afterward, but he was spotted leaving the stadium with Swift by his side.

Still, just about everyone in the Chiefs’ locker room was buzzing about the news after Sunday’s game, including coach Andy Reid, who joked that “I set them up.”

Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes said Kelce told him “at the last minute” that Swift was attending the game but also noted: “Some things with [Kelce], he says it and you don’t know if it’s true or not.” Mahomes admitted he was under “a little pressure” to throw a touchdown pass to Kelce, who hauled in a 3-yard TD in the third quarter.

“I think he wanted to get in the end zone just as much as all the Swifties wanted him to,” Mahomes said.

Swift has always been reluctant to discuss her personal life in public, but rumors have been flying about the star and the two-time Super Bowl champion in recent months — notably after a July episode of Kelce’s “New Heights” podcast, when he said he was disappointed that he didn’t get to meet Swift and give her a friendship bracelet during the Kansas City stop on her Eras Tour. In a later appearance on the “The Pat McAfee Show,” Kelce revealed that he had invited Swift to watch him play.

Swift is currently on a break from her Eras Tour, which resumes Nov. 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Beyond jersey sales, the NFL has also met the internet hype of Swift’s trip to Arrowhead. As of Tuesday, the NFL’s bio on X read “NFL (Taylor’s Version)” alongside a photo of Swift and Donna Kelce watching Sunday’s game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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