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Maverick's Morning Thoughts

Travis Kelce's Strategic Playbook with Taylor Swift

Maverick Steffen  -  12/26/2023

The recent rumored romance between Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and pop superstar Taylor Swift has turned heads for more reasons than tabloid fodder.

The pairing, marked by Swift's attendance at Chiefs games, has coincided with a remarkable surge in Kelce's personal brand - a nearly 400% increase in merchandise sales and a significant uptick in social media followers.

This phenomenon has led to speculation that this relationship might not just be about romance but a calculated marketing move, leveraging Swift's massive influence to boost Kelce's popularity and income.

Swift's presence at Kelce's games has not only shone a brighter spotlight on the NFL star but also significantly influenced his commercial appeal.

Following Swift's appearance, Kelce's merchandise sales skyrocketed, making him one of the top 5 selling NFL players. This dramatic increase, reported by sports merchandising giant Fanatics, is a testament to the "Swift effect" – her ability to significantly drive attention and sales to associated brands and figures.

Additionally, the surge in Kelce's social media following, with more than 325,000 new Instagram followers, underscores the vast reach of Swift's fanbase and the potential for heightened visibility that comes with her endorsement.

Maya Benberry, 31, dated Kelce following his stint on the 2016 E! dating show "Catching Kelce." Similar to "The Bachelor," without the expectation of an engagement, the program saw 50 women vie for Kelce's attention as he tried to find the one.

Benberry and Kelce ended up dating for months after the show ended.


"Certain qualities don't change in men. I feel like Travis is a narcissist, so most narcissists don't change."

He then connected with sports reporter Kayla Nicole, with whom he had an on-again, off-again romance for five years.

"Like the saying goes, once a cheater always a cheater," Benberry said, referring to Kelce. "Certain qualities don't change in men. I feel like Travis is a narcissist, so most narcissists don't change."

That relationship with Kayla Nicole ended in May of 2022 which sparked rumors about the pair’s final straw, including financial troubles that Kelce has vehemently denied.

A report from Barstool Sports claimed that Nicole broke up with Kelce because “he was cheap” and made Nicole “pay for half of everything.” However, Kelce debunked the claim during an interview with “The Pivot” Podcast in January 2023.

The strategic importance of such a relationship extends beyond individual gains. Swift's star power brings a major boost to the NFL, a league already known as the most-watched sports league in the country.

Her attendance at games and the ensuing media buzz not only draw attention to the sport but also tap into a wider, perhaps more diverse audience.

The increase in Stubhub ticket sales for Chiefs home games and the heightened interest among a key demographic, women aged 12-49, indicate the broader appeal and marketability that Swift brings to the table.

Historically, celebrity relationships have been employed as marketing tools, strategically timed and publicized to amplify buzz, visibility, and profitability. In Hollywood and beyond, high-profile pairings have been used to generate media coverage, drive consumer interest, and elevate the profiles of those involved. Kelce's previous forays into reality TV dating and his high-profile sports status, combined with Swift's reputation as a beloved global music icon, make their rumored relationship a compelling story for fans and a potentially lucrative one for their brands.

While the authenticity of Kelce and Swift's relationship remains a subject of public speculation, the undeniable commercial impact points to the power of strategic alliances in today's celebrity culture.

Whether or not the relationship is driven by "true love", business, or a blend of both, it reflects a savvy understanding of media dynamics and the value of celebrity influence in the modern marketplace.

Speaking of partners, I had a business partner once. He was dead weight and only completed tasks I now have completed by Ukrainians for $12/hour.

I had a relationship with a woman once who complained my business was taking too long to get off the ground. I replaced her with a much younger, much more beautiful brunette who is in love with my workaholism (her dad is also a business-owning workaholic so she gets it).

Now the question is: who are you in a relationship with personally and professionally? Are they helping you increase your income, or decrease it? Is your business partner replaceable by cheap labor? Is your wife or husband a hindrance to your hopes and dreams? Food for thought.

To your success!


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