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May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Jan 28, 2024

Taylor Swift—Savior or Saboteur? Her Impact On Super Bowl And Advertising.

In the midst of the NFL playoffs, a figure has emerged on the sidelines, sparking debates among fans and Hall of Famers alike. Yes, you guessed it—Taylor Swift. As the NFL's favourite anti-hero, her presence has coincided with a surge in TV ratings, creating an opportunity for brands to capitalize on her star power. In this piece, we explore the potential impact of Taylor Swift on Super Bowl advertising, social media strategies, and overall brand resonance. Some claim she's ruining the NFL with her presence, but let's cut to the chase—she could actually be the NFL's unplanned saviour they did not know they needed. 

Photo by Rosa Rafael on Unsplash

It is critical to recognize the NFL's responsibility in its own problems before accusing Taylor Swift.  Over the past few years, there have been a lot of decisions, from questionable calls by the referees to random rule changes that affect everything from kickoffs to the hats that players wear. When you add in the fact that you have to download certain apps to watch games and the fact that ticket prices have been going through the roof, averaging $400, it is clear that the league has been navigating a self-made minefield. Contrary to claims of Taylor Swift being a saboteur, she might be the secret the NFL needs to revive its glory. Her presence at games, particularly those featuring her boyfriend Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs, has injected an element of excitement that extends beyond the playing field.

Taylor Swift's attendance at Kansas City Chiefs games has transformed her into a significant ratings draw, particularly during the playoffs. Advertisers are now preparing for the possibility of Swift gracing the Super Bowl stage, provided the Kansas City Chiefs secure a victory during the AFC Championship. Swift's presence in Tokyo, where she is touring the day before the Super Bowl, adds an element of uncertainty, making her attendance contingent on a series of fortuitous events. Marketers, aware of Swift's TV ratings and her status, are gearing up for what could be a game-changing marketing opportunity.

Swift's influence on TV ratings extends beyond just sports. Her attendance at Chiefs games has been associated with a 10% increase in viewership during recent playoff games, showcasing her broader impact on the most-watched TV property in the U.S., the NFL. NBC even credited Swift with a two-million increase in viewership among women for a Sunday night Chiefs-Jets game. Forbes also reported a significant boost in viewership for Sunday night games featuring Swift, even surpassing Super Bowl levels. These more viewers are not just good numbers; they also have important effects on how the NFL interacts with female viewers. The number of female viewers has gone up significantly across all age groups, thanks to Swift's popularity. This is exactly the kind of audience the NFL has been trying to reach for a long time.

Photo by Patrick Ogilvie on Unsplash

Beyond viewership, Swift's involvement has proven to be a financial boon for the NFL. Her attendance alone contributed a staggering $120+ million to the NFL's brand value. This unexpected partnership has elevated the NFL's standing as an entertainment entity, showcasing the immense influence one pop sensation can generate. Consider this hypothetical scenario: if the NFL were to release an honorary Taylor Swift jersey, it could potentially outsell every other jersey in sports entertainment. This raises the intriguing prospect of NFL officials embracing Swift's influence by introducing merchandise like friendship bracelets, adding an interactive and engaging layer to the fan experience. Beyond sports, Swift's undeniable halo effect on marketing and entertainment is evident. She earned recognition from the Federal Reserve for boosting Philadelphia's economy during her Eras Tour and has been cited as a potential catalyst for widespread virtual reality (VR) adoption by her fans.

As anticipation builds for a potential Taylor Swift appearance at the Super Bowl, advertisers and brands are formulating social media strategies to tap into her massive fanbase. The Super Bowl, with its $7 million price tag for a 30-second commercial, prompts brands to explore alternative ways to engage audiences on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter). Previous Super Bowl events have witnessed social media phenomena like Oreo's tweet during the New Orleans blackout in 2013, Katy Perry's "Left Shark" moment in 2016, and Rihanna's pregnancy revelation during a performance on a 60-foot beam last year.

Photo by Chris Grafton on Unsplash

This year's Super Bowl location in Las Vegas introduces unique marketing opportunities, particularly with the presence of the new Sphere, offering 3D billboards that dominate the cityscape. Additionally, the possibility of the Detroit Lions making the game for the first time presents potential collaborations with rapper Eminem, who has been seen at Lions games. 

While the prospect of a Taylor Swift Super Bowl appearance holds immense promise, marketers must be careful. Swift's popularity is not universal, and detractors, often found on social media or niche football podcasts, may challenge the attention she receives during games. Ad agencies are not taking the potential Swift hype lightly. Contingency plans are being crafted to ensure brands are ready to capitalize on any unexpected moments involving Taylor Swift. Swift's name is featured prominently in strategy briefs, and agencies are actively collecting data and engaging in social listening to stay ahead of trends and internet reactions.

As NFL fans gear up for another round of playoffs, it might be worth reconsidering the narrative surrounding Taylor Swift and her supposed impact on the sport. Instead of seeing Swift as a problem, maybe it is time to recognize how she has become an unexpected element of the NFL story. Whether you love her or not, Taylor Swift might just be the unlikely game-changer the NFL didn't see coming. So, keep an open mind – the NFL's unexpected savior might be dancing in a luxury stadium box, living her best life, and inadvertently rescuing the sport from its own pitfalls. The potential impact of Taylor Swift on Super Bowl advertising is a multifaceted exploration of marketing possibilities. As marketers prepare for the unpredictability of live events, the presence of Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl could redefine strategies, engage new audiences, and create memorable marketing moments that extend far beyond the game itself. Advertisers and brands, armed with contingency plans and an understanding of the ever-evolving social media landscape, are poised to make the most of this potential marketing phenomenon should it materialize on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.

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