Travis X Taylor. A brand collaboration made in heaven

So there’s something happening in the world of marketing. At least MY world of marketing. OK, at least MY world.

It’s moving faster than one could ever have imagined. So rather than wait for a lull, or for it all to blow over; I thought I’d give you a quick play-by-play of the BIGGEST brand collaboration/partnership the world has ever seen.

Ironically, it’s my favourite brand X my least favourite brand. It’s The NFL (Travis Kelce) X Taylor Swift. Even better than that, it involves two of my favourite things; brand collabs and sweet, sweet discourse.

Before we jump in, here’s a quick glossary of terms.

Travis Kelce. Two-time Superbowl champion, arguably the greatest tight end to ever do it. Handsome, funny, loveable. Multi-million dollar contract.

Taylor Swift. Country singer who rose to fame at the 2009 VMAs when Ye (formerly Kanye West) referenced her in an impromptu speech. Multi-million record sales.  

NFL. Biggest American sport (by a LONG way). Intense, fast-paced, exciting, multi-billion (with a B) dollar industry.

What happened?

Travis Kelce has started dating* Taylor Swift.

She attended his game last week after weeks of speculation and rumours and sat next to his mom.

The NFL and NBC in particular, were keen to highlight this; with the camera cutting to a smiling Taylor at least 17 times throughout the game.

They were filmed holding hands in the corridor before leaving in a soft-top convertible.

All sounds pretty humdrum and bog-standard, yeah? Not when the NFL and the Swifties are involved. A few different things have happened as a result (so far!)

Travis Kelce’s shirt sales are up 400%. Some thrifty swifties have even had a go at making their own.

His following has also ‘spiked’. At the most recent count @killatrav’s Instagram followers are up by 860k since T-Swift first showed her face in the posh box. His increase in social following eclipses the total growth of the NFL’s top 100 players combined over the last two weeks.

When fans realised Taylor might be joining Travis the following week in New York, average ticket prices jumped up by around 40%.

Heinz and Primal Kitchen were quick to get in on the action with some snappy brand involvement after eagle-eyed fans spotted an unnamed condiment, seemingly ranch, on Taylor’s plate at the Bears game.

New York Jets cornerback, Sauce Gardner, felt that Taylor-mania resulted in an officiating call going against him when he played against the Chiefs on Sunday night. He tweeted to that effect but quickly scrubbed it from the timeline. 

There’s a really terribly funny TikTok trend where people are telling their football-loving other halves that Taylor put Travis on the map. It’s all so very hilarious, genuine, un-staged, and authentic.

Some prominent commentators are already seeing how things might all end up. One award-winning podcaster, PFT, suggested that it may be the undoing of long-serving NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. All it takes is one bad call from a linesman, one single dollar fine for excessive celebrations, and the Swifties will bring him down with a bang. 

Several users have pointed out that search results for “Taylor Swift’s Jets” now give you images of the star at a New York Jets game, rather than pictures of either of her personal jets.

On Monday, four-time NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers (who has previously ‘collaborated’ with a plethora of celebrities and may be kicking himself for not thinking of this one) referred to Travis as “Mr. Pfizer” on the Pat Mcafee show, pointing to the timing of his brand new campaign with the vaccine giant. We’ll happily stay away from any commentary or further analysis of this point,  thank you very much.

What’s next?

If you’d told me in August that Taylor’s star could have shone brighter, I’d have grabbed the microphone from you before letting you finish. But apparently, it could. A lot brighter. And by some cosmic happenstance, just in time for her movie to be released.

Who’da thunkit, huh?

Let’s just say that there are two inalienable truths at play here.

  • There’s only one demo in America that the NFL isn’t reaching. 
  • There’s only one demo in America that T-Swift isn’t reaching.

Carlsberg don’t do brand collaborations; but if they did, they wouldn’t serve both parties a fifth as well as this one does…

Stay tuned for more.

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