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Super Bowl 2024: How Taylor Swift has led to even more headlines for Travis and Jason Kelce

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The Kelces made history by both playing in last year’s Super Bowl, with Travis’ Kansas City Chiefs beating Jason’s Philadelphia Eagles – after a week their mother Donna dominated in terms of media coverage while talking about her sons.

In the 12 months since then, the brothers have had their own Amazon Prime documentary, they’ve both appeared on Saturday Night Live and their New Heights podcast, already growing in popularity, exploded thanks to a certain blossoming new romance – ending 2023 as the sixth biggest podcast in the United States., external

For all the headlines they create off the field, on the field the pair continued to excel. They are both Super Bowl winners and future Hall of Fame entrants as two of the best players we have seen in their respective positions.

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Jason Kelce hit the headlines with his shirtless appearance in Buffalo
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Jason Kelce hit the headlines with his shirtless appearance in Buffalo

Travis is back in a fourth Super Bowl in five years and broke some big play-off records in getting to Super Bowl 58 against the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas, while centre Jason fell just a couple of games short of a rematch but produced another dominant season with the Eagles.

Off the field, the pair have transcended the world of NFL and moved into the news and entertainment sphere – and not just because of Travis’ high-profile relationship with Swift.

Jason was all over social media when he went to watch his brother play the Buffalo Bills, drinking with home fans before the game and picking this first meeting with Swift to go shirtless in the stadium and climb out of his box and into the crowd for pictures.

The 36-year-old was also named as one of People magazine’s sexiest men of the year, external for 2023 – which Travis reacted to in typical brotherly fashion on their podcast.

“You’re one of the ugliest people I’ve ever seen in my life, so this actually threw me off,” the Chiefs tight end joked.

They’re the hottest sporting siblings in the US right now, and the Super Bowl could be yet another boost to their growing profile.

Media caption,
Super Bowl 58: Travis Kelce says ‘it’s fun to gather the Swifties in the Chiefs Kingdom’

Sportshour: The Taylor Swift Super Bowl

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The Taylor Swift effect – is it good for the NFL?
“Having the Taylor Swift effect is also a positive,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. “She knows great entertainment, and I think that’s why I think she loves NFL football.”

Goodell, who also laughed off conspiracy theories about the relationship being scripted, will nevertheless be delighted with the impact Swift has had in terms of bringing in a newer, younger audience – and a big increase in female viewers.

“I think it’s great to have her a part of it,” Goodell added. “Obviously, it creates a buzz. It creates another group of young fans, particularly young women – that are interested in seeing, ‘Why is she going to this game? Why is she interested in this game?’

“Besides Travis, she is a football fan, and I think that’s great for us.”

It’s also been great for Travis Kelce’s popularity, as he made Google’s 2023 trending list, external and saw sales of his Chiefs replica jersey take a 400% spike, external after Swift was first spotted at one of his games.

“Taylor has an unbelievable fanbase that follows her and supports her throughout her life,” Kelce said in Las Vegas. “It’s been fun to kind of gather the Swifties into Chiefs Kingdom and open them up to the football world and the sports world.”

Media caption,
Super Bowl 58: Taylor Swift conspiracy theories ‘nonsense’ – NFL boss Roger Goodell

Having one of the biggest stars on the planet attending games regularly has also boosted the overall ratings – with eight of the nine regular season Chiefs games Swift attended ranking among the top 100 most viewed TV broadcasts in the US of 2023, according to Nielsen.

It was perhaps no coincidence that the Chiefs’ game against the Miami Dolphins was picked for the NFL’s first play-off game to be exclusively streamed on Peacock, and no surprise when, with Swift attending, it resulted in what NBC called the “most-streamed live event in US history” with an audience of 23 million.

There have been critics of course, with complaints about how much Swift is shown on TV coverage during games, but in reality the 14-time Grammy Awards winner usually only makes an appearance for a matter of seconds within a three-hour game.

The 34-year-old was on screen for a combined total of two minutes and 12 seconds, external during Kansas City’s three play-off games – with notably over a minute of that in the streamed game targeted at a younger audience.

Media caption,
Super Bowl 2024 – what you need to know about the Las Vegas show

Will Swift make the Super Bowl?
Ultimately what will grow Travis Kelce’s status even further is adding a third Super Bowl title on Sunday, but whether Swift will make it or not is already one of the big topics around the game, like it or not.

Swift is performing in Tokyo on Saturday evening so all eyes will be on whether she can make the long trip in time – with even the Japanese embassy in the US, external posting about the journey on social media.

After her latest success at the Grammys, Kelce is being spurred on to match Swift by lifting the Lombardi Trophy.

“She’s rewriting the history books herself,” Kelce said. “I told her I’d have to hold up my end of the bargain and come home with some hardware, too.”

And the stats would suggest that Kelce plays better with Swift watching on. He averages more catches and more yards in the 12 games Swift has seen than the six she has not, while five of his eight touchdowns, all three of his 100-yard games and his only two-touchdown game have all come with her in the stadium.

So Chiefs fans will also hopes she makes it, as will the NFL, as the Super Bowl could break all kinds of viewing and social media records if one of the biggest global icons makes an appearance in Las Vegas.

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For all the headlines they create off the field, on the field the pair continued to excel. They are both Super Bowl winners and future Hall of Fame entrants as two of the best players we have seen in their respective positions.

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