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Putting feminism into football

Millie Gates ’24
Taylor Swift ecstatic after performing her Reputation Era at her very popular Eras Tour concert this year.

The cool brisk air sweeps the nation as the truck beds lay open flat and the old pigskin makes its way out of the garage and is thrown in the air from hand to hand. Burdened with anticipation of the game to come, the couch cushions become filled and the downtown streets become walkways. American football has begun.

However, the typically male-dominated football culture has been unintentionally overtaken this fall by a popular female influencer. With a new relationship on the horizon and in the public eye, there is a sudden uprise in female interest in the National Football League. Reigning Super Bowl champion and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has begun an unexpected relationship with the widely known superstar Taylor Swift, which is altering the atmosphere of female football culture.

Due to Swift’s appearance at the Chiefs game on Sept. 24 with Kelce’s parents, according to Time Magazine, there has been a significant 175% increase in ticket sales on Stubhub for the Chiefs-Jets game. This will now be in record books as the second-highest selling game of the NFL season. There is a noticeable increase in general ticket sales with record attendances at Chiefs games all in the hope of spotting the infamous popstar, Taylor Swift.

This spark has not simply increased attendance at games but also online in live broadcasts, specifically in female viewers. According to CBS, there has been a 63% increase in viewership among women aged 18 to 49 in NFL broadcasts. The Chiefs-Bears game also was the week’s most watched NFL broadcast with 24.3 million viewers because of Swift’s appearance at the Sept. 24 game. A previously male-dominated audience, Swift has impacted this culture so much that NFL football views are reaching roughly a 50% female audience.

With all this growth in NFL ratings, there is speculation of Swift being used as a pawn by the football community. According to CBS, the Chiefs simply reposting a picture of Swift in one of their suites helped grow their Twitter following by more than 200,000. Was the post an innocent flaunt of their fans, or was it strategically planned to reach a new audience? On Sunday, Oct. 1, the Chiefs-Jets game marked NBC Sports’ largest streaming audience ever for a regular-season Sunday NFL game, and 42% increase from last year’s week 4 game, according to Daily Mail. With 53% of U.S. adults identifying as Swift fans, it’s clear why the NFL itself is profiting enormously from her image.

Kelce has also undoubtedly gained from the affair. In the 24 hours following the first game Swift attended, he gained over 300,000 new social media followers and saw a 400% increase in his merchandise sales according to Forbes Magazine. This puts him in the top 5 players in the NFL at the moment. His new profit and publicity has clearly come from “Swifties” curious about the star’s new relationship. Maybe Kelce should be thanking Taylor, or maybe we will hear a song about him soon from the queen of breakup tracks.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Young '24, Page Editor
From the surface, Evelyn Young ’24 may look like the perfect, average teenage girl. She keeps herself busy with multiple sports, academics and extracurricular activities. Many might not immediately know about her creative side, but Young is thrilled to express this part of her in Tower this year. With the task of designing pages as a first-year page editor, she can expand her artistic opportunities. “I’m hoping that I can use some of the skills I developed in photography class to create fun and appealing pages for The Tower,” Young said. Outside of Tower, Young enjoys all aspects of being an athlete, including taking on the role of secretary of Varsity Club. Young has been competing on the South Sailing Team for all four years of high school and has played on varsity for the South Field Hockey Team for two.

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