The Taylor Swift effect on women's sports
The GIST: Taylor Swift has the power to boost economies, even one as lucrative as the NFL. She’s singing to a relatively untapped market in sports: the girl at home. Swift's popularity proves that a little celebrity cachet goes a long way in recruiting new fans, especially in women's sports. It's making all of our wildest dreams come true.
The Swift Effect: After one afternoon in a Kansas City Chiefs box, Swift created one of the season's most prominent (love) storylines. The Chiefs-Bears game was the week’s most-watched NFL broadcast with 24.3M viewers, including a 63% viewership bump among women aged 18 to 49.
- Swift's adoring fans are also supporting her (rumored) lover: In the 24 hours after the game, Travis Kelce saw 300K new social media followers, a 400% spike in merch sales, and a No. 1 spot for his podcast on Apple’s charts. She really did put him on the map.
Celeb impact on women’s sports: Beyond just casual interest, celebrity investment can transform pop culture aficionados into sports fanatics. Take Angel City FC — after one season, the celebrity-owned NWSL club accrued $40M in sponsorships, sold $6M of merch, and contributed 38.75% to the league’s 2022 revenue. And this year, Angel City fans shared something special with Swifties: breaking Ticketmaster.
- Speaking of selling out, the US Open benefitted from a pronounced celeb presence when it sold out of tickets and advertising inventory.
The blueprint: As celebrities look to diversify their portfolios, the surge in women's sports participation and viewership is attracting elite investors. It's one thing to have award-winning artists in the stands; it's another to have them in the C-suite. Taylor probably won't be joining an ownership group anytime soon, but her noticeable NFL boost reminds the world that wherever she strays, millions follow.