February 27, 2024 by Monique

#Winning: What Small Businesses Can Learn from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

If you know me, there are two things I love.

The first, I love a good conspiracy theory.

Not that I believe many of them, but I love hearing what people dream up and how they validate it.

The second thing I really love, is a good cult following. When a bunch of people become obsessed with an idea, person, or thing, I become obsessed with the cult following.

Taylor Swift combines both of those things right now and I am here for it!

She has a massive cult following (✔️), and then, there’s the conspiracy theory: Taylor Swift’s relationship with Travis Kelce isn’t real, and she is secretly working for the NFL. (✔️✔️)

Love this.


Hat tip to whoever came up with this one because I am not saying it’s true – but if was, that’s good marketing. As an agency that provides online marketing to small businesses, we don’t have to love the idea, but damnit, we have to respect it.

Let’s look at the facts here:

So, there are a lot of women who aren’t huge fans of the NFL.

And suddenly, arguably the world’s second most famous woman (sorry, y’all, I’m with the BeyHive) is dating the tight end of one of the best teams in recent years – a perennial Super Bowl favorite – the Kansas City Chiefs.

The results have been phenomenal and truly a joy to watch for my little conspiracy theorist’s heart. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

So, we can all agree that the Taylor-Travis relationship has been a win for the NFL. Some say it’s been an even bigger win for the Kelces.

That said, we may never know if this conspiracy theory holds water. Like most conspiracy theories – this one will have its doubters and supporters for a long time – or at least until when/if Travis and Taylor break up. And even then, we may never know the truth.

But until then, we can learn a few things from this relationship, regardless of whether it’s real or fake.

Marketing Lessons from The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Relationship and How To Do Them:

Partnerships are Powerful

We wouldn’t even be talking about this if there wasn’t power in this union. The Swift effect on Kelce, the NFL, and the Kansas City Chiefs has been incredible (see numbers mentioned above). Big brands know this. Remember the Nike-Kaepernick Commemorative Jersey that sold out in one minute a few years back when Kaepernick was ousted from the NFL?

How To Do It: Just because you run a small business or have a small budget, you don’t have to go at it alone. Think about other companies in your industry or related industries.

Can you partner up with someone to create unique offers for your clients? A hairstylist partnering with a makeup artist? A non-profit working with a restaurant to raise awareness for a cause? A B2B business partnering with a tech company to improve operations for clients? Look, peanut butter didn’t get to where it is today without jelly. So, a good partnership can move your business miles (like it’s doing for the NFL and Travis Kelce!).

Embrace New Audiences

The Swift-Kelce relationship has brought new fans to the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Travis Kelce. Maybe some of these fans are in it for the long haul. Maybe not. Either way, these organizations are wise to embrace these new audiences. Yeah, those 12 camera shots we saw of Taylor Swift during the Superbowl weren’t much, but let’s be honest: we all secretly wanted them – especially the NFL’s new Swiftie audience.

How To Do It: Maybe you just had something go viral. Or your lead magnet is getting new traction. Or that partnership we just talked about is finally paying off, and you’re seeing new audiences in your social channels, website, or email list. Don’t act like it’s business as usual.

Welcome your new audience. Reintroduce yourself. Show them around your world. Offer some new goodies or create a highlight reel of some of your best stuff. Nurture that new audience because they may stick around longer than you think (I’m looking at you, NFL!).

Ignore The Haters

So, does questioning the validity of this relationship make me a hater?

Would I want the validity of my relationship with my partner questioned? Would you? Even positing that there is merit to this claim is problematic.

But folks, I’m just the messenger here trying to break down what folks on the interwebs are already talking about. Who Taylor Swift chooses to date or not – for whatever reason – is no business of mine. I have no dog in this fight.

I’m not a big NFL, Chiefs, or Taylor Swift Fan. So this whole conspiracy has little bearing on my life except providing entertainment value. That being said, there are actual haters out there who think Taylor Swift is ruining football. Or, more recently, Bethany Frankel had some things to say about Travis Kelce.

How To Do It: We discussed this here, and here. Haters gonna hate. And no matter what you do, someone will have something to say about it. So do like Travis and Taylor.

Even when the world is watching, do you. Kiss your man. Kiss your girl. Be yourself. Just do you. I will say it again for the people in the back – haters are going to hate – so you might as well just be yourself and have fun like Travis and Taylor are.

Share the Spotlight

Travis and Taylor are both sharing the spotlight. Taylor Swift is a way bigger celebrity than Travis Kelce, but when his team won the Super Bowl, she knew not to make it all about her. Her people have intentionally kept Swift “in her lane” and not making Travis’ big career moments all about her. Although some people think there’s been too much focus on their relationship during the games, the numbers aren’t as high as you may think.

So what’s the lesson here?

There’s room for everyone at the top.

Taylor Swift and Beyonce are megastars who went on tour around the same period. But they didn’t compete. Beyonce went to cities that Taylor didn’t go to. And vice-versa. Their tours were timed a few months apart, letting each of them have the limelight.

When their new albums or singles drop, they are always timed so that each artist gets the attention for a little while. I don’t know if this is due to intentional coordination from both of their camps, but the end impact is that fans don’t have to choose. You can have your Beyonce and Taylor Swift, too.

And everyone wins.

How To Do It: This one is easy. Celebrate the wins of your partners, neighbors, competitors, and other industry professionals. Shout them out on social. In your newsletters. On your website. Wherever. There is enough success to go around, so someone else’s success isn’t dimming our light.

“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much: and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, and the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from our
lives.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

So share the spotlight, like Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, and you might find yourself #winning too!


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