Taylor Swift was a major player in the buildup to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, her 13th NFL game since she and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce made their relationship public in September. Her presence on the field was worth millions, with betting sites offering odds on how often CBS would show her during the game.
Despite not being paid for her appearance, Swift’s presence at the game was a bargain for the NFL and CBS. In recent years, companies have shelled out big bucks 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 in 2023. Other notable and expensive cameos include Larry David’s 30-second commercial for FTX in 2022 and Ben Affleck’s 30-second ad for Dunkin’ in 2023; the celebrities were paid about $10 million each, sources told CNN.
Ahead of the game, several industry experts predicted record-breaking viewership due to Swift’s popularity. If this year’s big game does break viewership records, it can be attributed directly to Swift’s fan base. In a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted last month and published three days before the Super Bowl, 21% of respondents indicated somebody in their household planned to watch the Super Bowl because Swift was expected to be there. For respondents between 18 and 34, the number was even higher at 41%.
In an interview on CNBC in January, Clark Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, discussed how Swift helped grow the team’s fan base by attracting more women fans. “It’s been a very interesting, very fun year having the two of them dating,” Hunt said on CNBC.”The female audience grew leaps and bounds after she started attending games.”