Here’s How Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce’s ‘Midas Touch’ Sparked a Retail Renaissance in America Amidst Inflation

Published 02/25/2024, 7:30 AM EST

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Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have been going “allll out” with their gifting rituals. While the IT couple continues to splash thousands of dollars on each other, they’ve truly become the ‘Midas Touch’ for several US tastemakers who have managed to reap benefits, especially amidst current and near-future economic conditions.

It’s a Hear! Hear! from the NFL Community on the ‘Taylor Swift Effect’ this season. The 14-time Grammy-winning artist has reportedly generated a mammoth, $331.5 million in brand value for the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL. What’s more interesting is that this love story has also single-handedly created an economic boom as consumers look to follow in their footsteps.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have paved tremendous opportunities for local businesses


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Talk about Taylor Swift’s $695 crystal-embellished, slit jeans at the Super Bowl LVIII. Fox Business and Lyst reported that searches for the jeans went up 331%. Not only this, but the straight-leg pants retail on Area were SOLD OUT! in no time. Recall the artist’s bracelet reading “TNT”. Wove, the Lancaster-based jeweler behind this sought-after piece of jewelry reportedly saw sales rise by 740% and site traffic by more than 2,200%.

Abbie Shedleski, a CAD designer at the store mentioned in an interview, “We couldn’t have asked for a better moment. For her to be wearing the bracelet that game, like it was just perfect.” The September instance may be old but certainly deserves a mention. The Associated Press reported that Travis Kelce’s officially licensed jerseys saw a sales spike of close to 400%.


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Here’s where things got hotter! Tim Cowden, CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council admitted in an interview, “We can’t attach a number to it. It’s an incredible opportunity that she [Taylor Swift] is providing our region.” The pair has somewhat changed the face of Kansas City’s economy.

via Reuters

Swifties would agree with this – When Swift entered Kansas City, people ate more donuts. In 2023, Donutology’s two stores made 20,000 donuts on the weekend after marketing “Tayl-gating” 30-packs to execute the demand of 74,000 Swifties at two Arrowhead Stadium concerts. Not only this, but the pair has left local businesses like apparel stores capitalize on global exposure.

More recent references can be found in Kelce’s poster from Jamjum was reportedly up by 83%, Fanatics’ Kelce tee saw a sales boost of nearly 60% earlier this month. Besides this, Taylor Swift birthday cards from Giftsfarm were up over 600%  between February 1st to February 7th.

Since the culture reset, dedicated fans aren’t just singing the same Travis-Taylor song. They are also flocking to shopping websites like Amazon to show support for the couple. US Amazon’s market data suggest that the first week of February saw a 96% rise in “Swelce-themed” products on Amazon. The couple undoubtedly had an indirect effect on Kansas City Chiefs products – “Kansas City Chiefs kids” search up by 1,304%, “Chiefs merch” up by 1,066% on Amazon, and “Chiefs gear” up by 941%.

One would agree that it’s become difficult for brands to attract consumer attention despite paid media budgets and other marketing tactics in recent times. Multiple studies suggest that ongoing financial difficulties are making it harder “for any given nonessential purchase to make the grade”. Here’s when an ‘it couple’ like the Kansas City Chiefs TE and his $900 million girlfriend emerge as the guardian angels of such brands.

From an ‘It Couple’ to an ‘Economic Boom’: Will ‘Swelce’ Burst the American Bubble or Break Records?

Inflation seems to have cooled down significantly in the US, but it remains above target. J.P. Morgan Research forecasts that “global core inflation will remain sticky at around 3% in 2024.” This reflects that the road to lower inflation seems bumpy. While the US economy has its plan of action, celebrities like Kelce and Swift seemingly continue to offer opportunities for brands that are worth seizing.

PYMNTS Intelligence recently conducted a study New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report: The Pessimism About Pay Rises Offsets the Effect of Falling Inflation wherein 4,300 U.S. consumers were surveyed. The study concluded that 83% were somewhat concerned about near-future economic conditions. PYMNTS Intelligence’s “New Reality Check – The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report: The Nonessential Spend Deep Dive Edition” found that 70% of consumers buy “nice-to-have” retail items at least sometimes.


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Considering the 2023 trend, it’s no wonder that Kelce and Swift would carve out a smoother path for these retail brands amidst consumers anticipating ongoing inflation in retail prices in the next 12 months “decreasing from 64% in January 2023 to 57% in January 2024.”  

It is often said that the most powerful pop culture moments are those that break records unexpectedly. The ‘Swelce’ wave indeed represents such a case where Kelce and Swift continue to alter consumer demand. It is a classic case of how impactful it can be for entrepreneurs to seize this opportunity.


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Stay tuned for more such interesting developments on how the athletes are accelerating change beyond the gridiron!


Written by:

Mallika Singh


One take at a time

Mallika Singh is a Lead Editor at EssentiallySports who primarily works in the NFL Division. A lawyer-turned-editor, Mallika is putting her penchant for writing and a fondness for American football to now lead desk editors. In her day-to-day, she is breaking down complex plays, leading LIVE News Center, and guiding the team towards responsible journalism.
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