When Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce admitted on his podcast New Heights – which he hosts with his brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce – to a celebrity crush on Taylor Swift, nobody thought it would be the central storyline of the 23-24 NFL season. Even though this episode came out in late July, it wasn’t until late September, when Taylor was seen sitting with Kelce’s mom in a suite at a Bears vs Chiefs game, that the concept of “Trayvis” became an international phenomenon that has impacted the media world as much as it has the world of pop culture.
While Swifties everywhere have been obsessing over every paparazzi photo allowed of the new couple, the media world has also been taken by storm – seeing a response unprecedented across digital and social platforms. Following the Week 3 game, purchases of Kelce’s Chiefs jersey jumped 400%, making it one of the top 5 best selling jerseys in the league (where it has stayed since). Additionally, New Heights has skyrocketed to the overall top podcast in the country on both Apple and Spotify platforms. Currently, New Heights has an audience reaching 5.5 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and X (formerly known as Twitter). There is unmatched potential reach for advertising efforts and marketing campaigns when considering that each episode contains at least 2 host-read ad reads as well as multiple ad spots built in on platforms like YouTube and Spotify, where listeners can tune in for free.
Kelce, himself, has also become an advertising commodity. Not only has his presence in TV advertising increased, his presence in an advertisement has also statistically shown to improve the performance of a company’s campaign compared to ads without the football player. Primarily, the Pfizer ad including Kelce has been 27% more effective in driving engagement than those without. Additionally, Kelce’s Campbell Soup ads received a 4% increase in ad effectiveness following the Bears/Chiefs game.
The influence of this relationship also expands to the NFL overall. CBS Sports reported that there was a 63% viewership increase with Women aged 18-49 following the September 24th game. The week following, when the Chiefs played at the Jets, the game viewership of over 27 million people made it the most watched Sunday Night Football game since the Super Bowl. The NFL, in addition to receiving heightened interest from ‘Swifties’ has been able to capitalize on this new audience across their social media profiles. Only a week after the “Taylor Swift game”, the 34 posts that had been shared had generated 170 million impressions and totaled 23 years of watch time. The NFL has also used Swift’s songs as background audio for their game time promotions, and changed their social media bio to “NFL (Taylor’s Version)” in a nod to the singer’s re-recorded albums. These tactics have led to the becoming the overall leader in post engagement when it comes to Taylor Swift content, driving 12.2 million actions and 92.6 million video views across social platforms.
With the couple continuing to take center stage at every Chiefs game this month, it seems like the Trayvis Effect is never going out of style (see what we did there?).
Written by Digital Media Specialist, Maya Hettleman, Digital Media Coordinator, Laurel Burns & Senior Media Specialist, Abby Schrum