They’re playing a football game tonight in East Rutherford, N.J. It will be nationally televised, sold-out, and features the defending NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs against the upstart New York Jets.
But that’s all a sideshow to the real story of the night. All eyes will be on a certain box at the stadium rather than the football field. That’s where Taylor Swift is expected to be in attendance to root for new love Travis Kelce, the All-Pro tight end for the Chiefs.
More from Deadline
Swift showed up at a Chiefs home game last week and provoked a large media frenzy that has snowballed into a massive cultural event.
Kelce gained more than 860,000 Instagram followers – more than 2023’s voted-on top 100 NFL players combined, per @bknownagency, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kelce reportedly has gained more followers in September than he did following all three Super Bowls he played in combined. The NFL player who gained the second most Instagram followers last week was Jason Kelce, Travis’s brother, who added 137,000.
The NFL’s SVP of Social, Influencer & Content Marketing, Ian Trombetta, told CBS News that Swift’s impact on the NFL viewership has “definitely” created a “stir.”
“Another thing that’s been a little surprising is that it really hasn’t slowed down. It’s continued to build in this momentum of conversation,” Trombetta said.
“It’s been honestly unlike anything we’ve seen from a regular season perspective in the sense that we have celebrities and influencers and big creators that are at games every single week. And while it drives interest and discussion online, this was something we’ve never seen before.”
The impact is reflected in the sports betting options for the game.
FanDuel Sportsbook is offering a series of Swift-Kelce-themed prop bets, including one called “FriENDZONE,” where Kelce to not score a touchdown. That is listed at +105.
There is also another bet called “Top of the Charts,” which Swift has 12 times in her music career, according to Billboard.
The bet will win if Kelce has the most receiving yards in the game, a relatively expected wager (+140).
Following last week’s game, when it was announced that Swift would attend tonight’s game, the Jets sold the most tickets than they had in a single day this season. Prices near the Swift boxes were soaring to more than $600 per ducat.
Best of Deadline