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The Scroll

The Student News Site of Fargo North High School

The Scroll

The Scroll

NFL is gaining a whole new audience

NFL+is+gaining+a+whole+new+audience
Grace Schmidt

The latest NFL season is a little different this year and that’s due to the increasing viewership of new fans. The NFL has gained many new fans (including myself) thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs tight end, Travis Kelce, and his new relationship with Taylor Swift. Swift has supported Kelce from the audience in three games and each time, viewership increased.
Swift’s first appearance was the Chicago Bears vs Kansas City Chiefs and that game alone boosted the NFL’s Sunday ratings to 24.3 Million Viewers, scoring the highest among female demographics across the ages of 12-17 and 18-49 that week. Swift’s second game was the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the New York Jets, averaging approximately 27 million viewers, making it the most-watched Sunday show since Super Bowl LVII (57) on Fox in February.
Viewership peaked at 29.4 million viewers between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. ET, as the Jets climbed to within eight points of the Chiefs in the second quarter. However, Kansas City won the game with a final score of 23-20.
Viewership among teen girls aged 12-17 climbed 53% compared to the season-to-date average of the first three weeks of Sunday Night Football, while women aged 18-24 increased 24% and women 35 and older increased 34%. As a Taylor Swift fan, aka a Swiftie, I started watching specifically the Chiefs games because of her and to cheer her boyfriend’s team on. And I have to say I would have never thought that I would voluntarily watch football, but here we are.
Not only are Swifties soaking this relationship up but the NFL is loving it. Of course, viewership has increased and that’s good for business, but their constant media coverage has football fans rolling their eyes and Swifties tuning in for it.
Swift was featured 17 times throughout the Bears vs Chiefs game, and the viewership no doubt included Swift fans who weren’t football enthusiasts but still wanted to watch her on TV regardless of the circumstances. Following the game, the NFL posted on their social media pages Taylor Swift references like 9/24/23 Taylor was here, Chiefs are 2-0 as swifties, and NFL (Taylor’s Version).
Yet for NFL fans who just want to watch the game, it might be too much. Even brothers Travis and Jason Kelce, called out the NFL on their New Heights podcast, where Jason asked his brother, “Let’s get to it, is the NFL overdoing it? What’s your honest opinion? Take away your feelings for Taylor.”
Travis responded with, “I think it’s fun when they show who was at the game. I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you’re watching. But at the same time I think they’re overdoing it a little bit for sure, especially my situation. I think they’re just trying to have fun with it.”
The NFL responded with, “We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the organization added, “The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we’ve leaned into in real time, as it’s an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we’ve seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport.”
It’s truly been a pop cultural moment and will continue to be as long as Swift and Kelce date. As for the foreseeable future, football fans expect more of Swift, references, and Swifties.

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About the Contributor
Grace Schmidt, Writer
Hi! I'm Grace and this is my second year in journalism! I want to continue in college and in the future! It's been one of the best experiences of my life. I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan and even went to her concert, which was life altering. Currently I am in a fight to get the Spartan Scroll funding.
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