The Taylor Swift Effect and Creating Demand for Branded Merchandise
There aren't a lot of people on Earth with the type of influence Taylor Swift has over her fans. Beyonce is another. The pope, maybe. But Taylor Swift has a power over her fans (Swifties, as they're commonly called) that is nearly unparalleled, and it extends to NFL merchandise.
For those out of the loop, rumors started swirling that Swift started dating Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce. Kelce's brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, seemed to joke that the rumors were "100% true," but then Swift popped by Arrowhead Stadium to watch a game with the Kelce boys' mom.
Taylor Swift with Donna Kelce in Kansas City to watch Travis Kelce. This is really happening.pic.twitter.com/5JjZ1aAZd7
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 24, 2023
So, yeah. Looks like it's real. And ask anyone who even pays a modicum of attention to celebrity gossip, and they can tell you that being in a relationship with Taylor Swift is a big deal.
It's such a big deal that's driving merchandise sales for Kansas City Chiefs merchandise, specifically Travis Kelce merchandise.
Business Insider reported that there was reportedly an almost-400% spike in Kelce merchandise sold through Fanatics websites, including NFLshop.com. Kelce was one of the top-five-selling players this past weekend after videos surfaced of the two leaving the stadium together. The two women's options of jerseys are sold out on the sites between sizes small and extra-large, with only 2XL in stock as of now.
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) September 25, 2023
In response, a community activist in Philadelphia (which Swift has a connection to having grown up nearby), made merchandise to raise funds for his effort by creating a T-shirt celebrating Eagles running back D'Andre Swift, with "D'Andre > Taylor" and his number 0 and "My Fav Swift" on the back.
— Ya Fav Trashman (@YaFavTrashman) September 26, 2023
Now, what we recommend for distributors to cultivate this sort of demand is simple: Make sure your clients start dating Taylor Swift. It's only a matter of time until she and Kelce part ways and she is on the lookout for a new companion, and your clients' businesses should be jumping at the opportunity to be romantically linked with one of the world's premier pop artists.
Just kidding (unless...) What we're really hoping to impart on distributors here is just that external factors can drive demand. Think about more reasonable things like holidays, event tie-ins, meme-worthy moments. TV show reboots that drive demand for T-shirts from the original or quotes from a broadcasting gaffe. Holiday-themed products that include a colorful twist on a branding aesthetic. Things like that can create a fun twist and spur new demand for your customers' branded products, and you can skip the headache of having to outrun paparazzi in your daily life.