Picture a NFL fan. You probably imagine a young man wearing a jersey, maybe holding a beer, and yelling at the TV screen. However, women make up almost half (46%) of the NFL fanbase. While many women are already avid football fans, a very different subject rallied even more female interest in the NFL in 2023.

Starting September 12th, rumors swirled that singer-songwriter Taylor Swift was spending time with the Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce. By September 24th, Swift was photographed at Kelce’s game, confirming their romance. Afterwards, Swift appeared at many Chiefs’ games.

Swift’s presence did not go unnoticed. The Chiefs saw a surge in viewship as Swift attended games. The September 24th game between the Bears and Chiefs became the second-most watched NFL game of the season (at that point in time) behind the season opener. Similarly, the October matchup between the Broncos and the Chiefs peaked at 15.51 million viewers. This was up 57% from a comparable Thursday Night Football matchup a year earlier.

Want more information on trends within the entertainment industry? Check out our Entertainment: An Industry Snapshot report for insights. 

NFL Usage – US Adults and Young Women – Trended 12 Week Moving Average

QuestBrand. Base: General population of US adults (black), n=16,736. Base: Gen Z and Millennial Women (pink), n=3,467. 1/1/22-12/31/23.

Using data from QuestBrand by The Harris Poll, we explored how young women’s interest in the NFL increased after Swift showed interest in Kelce. QuestBrand tracks consumers’ progression through the sales conversion funnel – awareness, familiarity, trial, usage, and recommend.

NFL “usage” signals that an individual is watching or supporting the NFL. In the graph above, we see young women’s (Millennial and Gen Z adults) usage of the NFL jump after September 2023. At the end of December 2023, NFL usage among young women reached 46.6. This is up from 37.0 a year earlier (December 31, 2022).

This is not the first time that Swift has impacted consumer brand sentiment, and it won’t be the last. Check out our blog on jewelry maker Pandora that explores how Swift’s songs increased purchase consideration among Gen Z adults. We know All Too Well that no brand is Untouchable from Swift’s effect. What brand do you think will be impacted by the Fearless Taylor Swift next?



Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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