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Did Taylor Swift Put Travis Kelce on the Map?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

Like many devoted Swift fans, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce attended the hugely successful Eras tour in July. Three months later, he found himself driving around in his 1970 Chevy Chevelle with Taylor Swift as his passenger. Kelce captured Swift’s attention by making a friendship bracelet adorned with his number. Later, in an interview on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Kelce revealed that he had  “threw the ball in her court.” He set the record straight by saying, “I told her I’ve seen you rock a stage in Arrowhead, and you might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead.”

So, indeed, Taylor Swift did take Kelce up on his offer. She appeared to watch Kelce play against the Chicago Bears and was subsequently spotted leaving the stadium alongside Kelce. They may be spending time together, perhaps even dating, but why should that be the focus? What truly matters, and what should people focus on after witnessing Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce cruising around town in his swanky car?

Historically, people have fixated on the men Taylor Swift has dated. This has not only been one of the most controversial and recurring discussions surrounding Taylor, but throughout her years in the spotlight, she has grown increasingly vocal about the objectifying and sexist comments made regarding her relationships. 

Throughout her time in the spotlight, Swift has consistently faced criticism for her song lyrics about her romantic life and past boyfriends. She’s been labelled a “serial dater,” while men with similar dating histories don’t receive the same attention. Her songs addressing the pain and toxicity in her relationships have drawn backlash, yet male artists who do the same don’t face this level of criticism. Swift has confronted significant sexist treatment and remains a prominent advocate against such behaviour. 

Let’s be clear: this article does not delve into the relationship between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce; instead, it aims to convey the impact of Taylor Swift’s influence and the substantial power she wields in various spheres. Further, it aims to acknowledge the empowering changes that women have pushed for.

Now, here comes the question: did Taylor Swift put Kelce on the map?

Travis Kelce is unquestionably a self-made and hard-working individual. In 2013, he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Kelce boasts an impressive record with two Super Bowl wins, eight Pro Bowl appearances, and four first-team All-Pro selections. His remarkable speed, agility, precision, and deep game knowledge position him as one of the NFL’s best tight ends. 

Kelce made a name for himself in the football world; he is a household name among sports enthusiasts. However, Travis Kelce remains relatively unknown beyond football.  He is just one name among many on a lengthy list of players. 

I don’t follow sports and couldn’t name the top one hundred football players apart from my home teams. Until last week, I did not know Travis Kelce, which isn’t a limited experience. 

In contrast, everyone is familiar with Taylor Swift. You don’t need to be a music fan or track her career to recognise her. Her immense success, widespread fame, and extensive media presence ensure her a spot within the short list of universally recognised figures. 

When Taylor Swift appeared at Travis Kelce’s game, her fans anticipated an explosion, and they were proven right. 

Commonly known as the “Taylor Effect,” the singer’s appearance at the Kansas City Chiefs game set in motion results that showcased Swift’s influence and popularity. Sales of Travis Kelce jerseys increased by 400%, and his podcast soared to the number one spot on Apple. Kelce has gained over 860,000 followers on Instagram since the game, and the football game itself was watched by 27 million people, making it the most-watched game since the Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs also experienced a surge in ticket sales, making it the highest for a single day since the season began. These effects underscore Swift’s power and influence. Her presence at the Chiefs game generated impressive numbers for the team and Travis Kelce’s podcast. 

Travis Kelce may have put himself on the map to address the question, but Taylor Swift catapulted him onto the national stage. Many who did not know of him just a week ago are following his statistics and engaging with his podcast, all because of his association with Taylor Swift. This influence has expanded Kelce’s audience and, more importantly, ignited an exciting conversation illustrating the changing headlines compared to historical coverage of Taylor Swift’s past relationships. 

I am used to discussing famous women in relation to their dating lives. However, the tables have turned. Travis Kelce couldn’t go near a football this week or engage in an interview without being asked about Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is no longer defined by her relationships but by her impact on them. In this instance, her identity isn’t shaped by the achievements of her rumoured partner; instead, it’s defined by how her extraordinary success can influence football statistics and challenge the typical portrayals of men and women. 

This media frenzy illustrates a shift in narratives surrounding famous women.  It is a testament to Taylor Swift’s ongoing efforts to combat the sexist headlines that have historically dominated media coverage of women in the public eye. Media has continuously failed women in their depictions and representation of female artists, and many women have become victims of this treatment. Though, these failings are being spoken out against and are being acknowledged. Progress has been made to change the narrative regarding famous women. Recognising this progress in how women are perceived and portrayed in the media is crucial, and continuing this progress must be a priority

Adele Spitz

St. Andrews '26

Adele Spitz is an international relations student from Boston, Massachusetts. Currently, she is one of our Senior Editors. She enjoys golfing, exciting adventures, and trying out new cookbook recipes! She is so excited to contribute to HerCampus and help to reach our goals to increase audience engagement!