Travis Kelce’s Own Era Tour

Cross Promo Lessons from Celebrity Relationships

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What do you get when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? In the case of pop megastar Taylor Swift and two-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce, the answer is a cross-promotional frenzy that the licensing world has never seen.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Taylor Swift recently entered a relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, a relationship they publicly commemorated when Swift attended the Chiefs vs. Bears week four game on September 24th alongside Kelce’s mom. As evidenced by her wildly successful Era tour, Swift’s mere presence can affect entire economies. Where Taylor goes, Swifties follow, even if they have never watched a football game. The game itself was unremarkable; the Chiefs blew out the then-winless Bears 41-10, but Taylor Swift fans led to a 35% spike in female viewership, including a staggering 53% spike in girls 12 to 17. Prices for tickets to see the Chiefs play the Jets in week 5 increased by 43% after the announcement that Swift would be in attendance. That game peaked at 29 million viewers, making it the most-watched TV broadcast since last year's Super Bowl.


Taylor Made for Sunday Night. 📺 @NBC and @Peacock

The NFL isn’t the only one benefitting from Swift’s attendance. NBC licensed her song Welcome To New York for a pregame promo for the Chiefs-Jets game. The first advertisement in this game was for Swift’s upcoming Era’s Tour movie in collaboration with AMC, which broke AMC ticket presale records en route to $100 million in profits. The biggest winner, however, is undoubtedly Travis Kelce. Not only does he get to date arguably the most successful woman in the world, his popularity has skyrocketed since the relationship became public. Kelce’s jersey sales increased by nearly 400%, and the amount of Google searches about him increased 14x between September 23 and 25, making him the third most searched U.S. celebrity besides Beyoncé and Swift herself. Kelce’s podcast with his brother Jason, New Heights, lived up to its name, garnering 200,000 new subscribers and reaching number 1 on both Apple and Spotify podcast charts. As Patriots coach Bill Belichick put it, “Travis Kelce has made a lot of big catches in his career. This would be the biggest.”

Even brands that have nothing to do with the NFL or Taylor Swift want in on the action. Heinz, yes the Ketchup brand, released a limited edition sauce called “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch,” inspired by a viral tweet about Swift’s preferred condiments when eating chicken tenders. Heinz sought to turn the 32 million people who viewed that tweet into customers, capitalizing on the opportunity by creating the new sauce and ad campaign in less than 24 hours. NBC, the network hosting Sunday Night Football, showed Swift on TV 17 times throughout the week four game, giving her more face time than most players on the field. NFL marketing executives are reporting almost 200 million views on some Swift and Kelce-related content.

Neither the NFL nor Swift necessarily need the other NFL accounts for 82 of the top 100 TV broadcasts last year, and Swift’s tour could purportedly generate nearly $5 billion for local economies-the frenzy to capitalize on Swiftmania reinforces, once again, that you can never have too much publicity.

In the meantime, we may soon hear a song about Kelce.

Cross-promotion opportunities from celebrity relationshipss like Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s can surprisingly offer valuable lessons for new entrepreneurs:

  1. Strategic Partnerships: Just as celebrities strategically partner to enhance their brand visibility, entrepreneurs can collaborate with complementary businesses or individuals to expand their reach.

  2. Target Audience Alignment: Celebrities (usually) date partners with similar target audiences. Entrepreneurs should seek partnerships that resonate with their customer base to maximize the impact of cross-promotion.

  3. Authenticity Matters: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's relationship appears authentic, resonating with their fans. Entrepreneurs should prioritize genuine connections and values alignment in their partnerships.

  4. Leveraging Social Media: Both celebrities often share aspects of their relationships on social media, increasing engagement. Entrepreneurs can use social platforms for cross-promotion to connect with a wider audience.

  5. Storytelling: Celebrities often create narratives around their relationships. Entrepreneurs can harness the power of storytelling to make their cross-promotion more compelling and relatable.

  6. Measurable Results: Celebrities monitor the impact of their relationships on metrics like engagement and sales. Entrepreneurs should track and measure the effectiveness of cross-promotion to refine their strategies.

  7. Adaptation: If the circumstances or partnerships change, celebrities adapt. Entrepreneurs should be flexible and adjust their cross-promotion strategies based on evolving needs and opportunities.

  8. Risks and Benefits: Be aware that cross-promotion can have both positive and negative consequences. Entrepreneurs should weigh potential risks and benefits before entering into partnerships.

  9. Cross-Industry Opportunities: Just as Swift and Kelce come from different industries, entrepreneurs can explore cross-industry partnerships for fresh perspectives and audience exposure.

  10. Long-Term Vision: Celebrities (sometimes) build lasting relationships. Entrepreneurs should consider the long-term impact of cross-promotion and how it aligns with their business objectives.

Overall, while celebrity dating dynamics may not directly apply to entrepreneurship, the principles of strategic collaboration, audience alignment, authenticity, and adaptability can be valuable takeaways for new entrepreneurs in their cross-promotion efforts. 

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