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Taylor Swift influence in full effect for the NFL: Travis Kelce and the Chiefs can’t escape the spotlight

The Kansas City Chiefs and their star tight end, Travis Kelce, have been catapulted into the spotlight over the last few weeks resulting from what some would call, “The Taylor Swift Effect.” 

The phenomenon began on September 24, when global superstar Taylor Swift was seen at the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Swift not only attended the game dressed in red and rooting for the Chiefs but also sat in a booth with Travis Kelce’s mother, Donna Kelce. 

Taylor Swift wears a smile while Travis Kelce takes the field at Arrowhead Stadium. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
This event is believed to have confirmed a rumored romance between Kelce and Swift. 

Although Swift’s appearance at the Chiefs game was the first event showing confirmation of the relationship, that was not where the couple got their start. 

It all began when Kelce attended The Eras Tour on July 8, where Swift performed at Arrowhead Stadium. Kelce revealed on a podcast, “I was a little butt-hurt I didn’t get to hand her one of the bracelets I made for her,’” he said. 

The bracelet Kelce spoke about was one he made for the Eras Tour. The bracelet had his phone number on it, and he had planned to “shoot his shot” with Swift; however, Swift did not choose to meet with him at the concert.

Kelce responded, “[After that,] I threw the ball in her court,” he told “The Pat McAfee Show.” In words directed towards Swift, he said, “I’ve seen you rock the stage at Arrowhead. You might have to come see me rock the stage in Arrowhead.” 

Swift did just that. 

In the first game that Swift attended, Kelce had one of his best games of the season. He recorded 7 catches, 69 yards and a receiving touchdown. 

Despite Kelce’s impressive performance, Swift had all eyes on her. From the initial sighting and throughout the entire game, fans might argue that Swift received just as much screen time as Kelce. 

FOX announcers repeatedly hinted at the possible romance between Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift between plays. Some even made playful comments towards the pair using Swift’s song lyrics as commentary. 

Every sports social media page, including Sports Center, ESPN and NFL to name a few, was flooded clips of Swift and Donna Kelce cheering for the Chiefs. 

This, however, has resulted in a large amount of backlash from sports fans. Cameras flipping to Taylor Swift during the Chiefs vs. Jets game on October 1, even resulted in booing from fans. 

The NFL social media accounts also received backlash at one point when they changed their ‘X’ biography to read, “Chiefs are 2-0 as Swifties.” The bio was quickly changed back as a response. 

A key piece to the progress of this relationship is Jason Kelce. Many non-sports fans may not know that Travis Kelce has an older brother who is also an NFL star. As the center for the Philadelphia Eagles, he does not get nearly as much recognition as his brother; however, the two are extremely close. 

In fact, the two brothers even host a podcast together. One can listen to  the “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce” podcast on Spotify, Amazon, Apple music and many other music streaming platforms. Episodes air every Wednesday during the football season, from September to February. 

Throughout all the relationship drama, Jason has played the role of a typical older brother. He went on a sports talk show, jokingly claiming that, “[The relationship rumors] are 100% true.”  

Kelce attempted to clear things up and retract the joke, “no, I’m joking, I don’t know what’s happening,” he told “People.” 

However, eager fans ignored the truth and took Kelce’s joke as confirmation of the relationship. 

Similar events have occurred on multiple occasions during the celebrities’ relationship. As one can imagine, a global superstar, a professional football player and two hefty fan bases, generates quite the paparazzi.  

These comments, however, have applied immense pressure for the couple to comment on the state of their relationship, their plans for the future, etc. 

Swift still has yet to comment on the status of her relationship and Kelce admitted on the New Heights podcast, “It is my personal life, and I want to respect both of our lives.”

He explained that moving forward he wanted to do better at keeping things more private between the couple. “She [Taylor Swift] isn’t in the media as much as I am,” Kelce said.

All of this media attention cannot be easy for a relationship; however, there have been many interesting positives throughout it all for the NFL and the Kelce brothers, among others. 

The Taylor Swift effect proves to be a boon to the New Heights podcast, which gained over a million views following the episode that discussed Swifts’ attendance at the Chiefs’ game and ranked #1 in podcasts on Apple music. 

The podcast is not the only thing experiencing the influence of Taylor Swift. In just 24 hours following the Chiefs vs. Bears game, Travis Kelce’s jersey sales increased by 400%, making it one of the highest selling jerseys. 

Overall, the romance between the pair has brought all kinds of publicity across the NFL and social media outlets. They have also introduced Swifties across the world to the NFL.

The couple continues to progress in their relationship; the secrecy, making it that much more enticing. Fans will continue to wait desperately for true confirmation on the relationship status of Kelce and Swift, and many are wondering what will come next for the famous duo.

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