Taylor Swift was a major player in the lead-up to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, with her 13th NFL game since she and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce made their relationship public in September. The sports-gambling websites even took bets on how often CBS would show Swift during the broadcast.
At the end of the game, Swift had appeared onscreen for 53 seconds, worth about $12.4 million based on the cost of a 30-second commercial, which was $7 million in this year’s Super Bowl. Despite attending the game for free, Swift’s appearance was a bargain for both the NFL and CBS. Companies and brands have paid big bucks in the past to partner with celebrities for added star power. For example, Verizon reportedly paid Beyoncé $30 million to appear in its 60-second Super Bowl commercial, while Larry David got $10 million for his 30-second commercial for FTX and Ben Affleck got $10 million for his ad for Dunkin’.
The celebrity cameos were not only expensive but also highly sought after by brands looking to boost their visibility during one of the most watched events of the year. With several industry experts predicting record-breaking viewership ahead of the game, Swift’s popularity played a significant role in attracting viewers. If this year’s big game does break viewership records as expected, at least some of that can be attributed directly to Swift’s influence. A Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted last month found that 21% of respondents planned to watch the Super Bowl because Swift was expected to be there, while among respondents aged 18-34, it was 41%.
In an interview with CNBC in January, Clark Hunt, owner of the Chiefs, discussed how Swift helped grow the team’s fan base. He said that after she started attending games with him and Kelce, their female audience grew “leaps and bounds.” It seems that Taylor Swift is more than just a pop star; she has become an influential figure in sports as well.