Taylor Swift “shakes up” the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in America nearly every year, but this time, it’s going to be an even bigger deal thanks to Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.
The superstar couple has been making headlines throughout the NFL season ever since their relationship went public. Front Office Sports (FOS) reported on January 28 that Swift generated an equivalent brand value of $331.5m for the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL, a number which has not fallen deaf ears.
As the Super Bowl approaches, Swift’s time in the spotlight creates a rare situation in which the dynamics off the field are just as intriguing as those on it.
An unexpected opportunity
The Super Bowl is as grandiose an event as there is in American sports. Tickets to this year’s game, hosted by the national gambling capital of Las Vegas, Nevada, cost an average of $9,804 on TickPick, a 69% increase on last year’s $5,795 average.
Thirty-second television ads during Super Bowl LVII last February cost a record $7m on average, according to Forbes. The general expectation is that this year’s game will be even more expensive for interested companies.
Swift’s unrelenting influence might be enough
Despite the upcharge, Swift’s unrelenting influence might be enough for companies usually on the outside of the Super Bowl to bite the bullet.
According to FOS, at least three health and beauty brands – l’Oreal’s NYX Professional Makeup, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Dove – reportedly purchased ad spots during Super Bowl LVIII. The first two have never been featured in a Super Bowl ad before, while the third took an 18-year hiatus between appearances.
While purely speculation, many believe that these companies’ involvement is because of the 14-time Grammy award-winner’s relationship with Kelce, and suddenly, the NFL.
“Honestly I think she is the best bridge [advertisers] have to women of all ages–and the men who shop with them,” said global trend spotter Marian Salzman.
CBS claims it sold most of its ad spots before the end of November, though some may have been held and sold later on at a steeper price.
Ernest Lipinacci, formerly of Nike and ESPN, said that beauty companies may have taken a risk by waiting for Kelce and the Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five seasons before they secured their spot.
“My theory is that some smart people said, ‘You know what? Let’s buy some ad time. It’s a big enough audience anyway. And if Kansas City makes it in there, we are golden,’” said Lupinacci.
Bettors flock to the Chiefs
Whichever companies ultimately secured any of the limited ad spots are likely to be in luck. The AFC Championship Game between the Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens (at a non-prime time slot of 3pm ET) averaged 55.47 million concurrent live viewers, a record for any AFC Championship Game.
NBC also attributed the NFL’s female audience growing by an estimated two million viewers to Swift’s relationship with Kelce during a Week 4 matchup between the Chiefs and New York Jets.
there’s a decent chance that at least a few of those bets were placed by Swifties
While women are still in the minority of sports bettors compared to men, there’s undeniable public support for the Chiefs to win the Big Game against the Niners, and there’s a decent chance that at least a few of those bets were placed by Swifties.
According to FanDuel Sportsbook’s betting splits, 70% of spread bets and 76% of spread money is on the Chiefs in the final game of the 2024 NFL playoffs.
VSiN found similar results, showing 70% of bets and 65% of money was on the Chiefs to cover the spread, while 80% of bets and 70% of money was on the Kansas City moneyline.
Oddsmakers have mostly held the betting lines at 49ers -2 despite the implacable support from the betting public. Several large money “sharp” bets have come in on the Niners, though there’s a strong possibility that most of the six- and seven-figure bets don’t come in until the final days and hours before kickoff.
Sportsbooks are capitalizing on Swift’s popularity by offering bets centered around her and her relationship with Kelce. DraftKings has a special “For the Swifties” menu which has several bets with ties to her song names, while other sportsbooks have a variety of prop bets involving her.
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