Millions of Americans had tuned in for the championship match – which also threw the spotlight on Swift’s closely-watched romance with Kelce, who is tight-end for the Kansas City Chiefs.Their embrace – following the Chiefs’ nail-biter victory over the San Francisco 49ers – was a cinematic finish to a football season in which Swift and her new boyfriend have often taken centre stage.
The singer, currently in the midst of her billion-dollar Eras tour, has been a regular at Kelce’s games since her first NFL appearance in September.Together, the two megastars have become a cultural juggernaut, inspiring memes, breathless tabloid coverage and themed merchandise.
To some, their relationship apparently seemed too good to be true, with right-wing critics spinning Swift and Kelce-themed conspiracy theories.Some critics even claimed their relationship was part of a plot to rig the championship game in an effort to help US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, get elected.
On Sunday, Donald Trump seemed to weigh in, saying it would be “disloyal” of Swift to endorse Joe Biden, because Mr Trump had previously signed a law that made it easier for artists to collect royalties when their songs are streamed.”Besides that, I like her boyfriend, Travis,” he added, in a post on his social media platform.
Some long-time football fans have griped at the sudden arrival of Swift, who has commanded the NFL conversation for months. Still, her presence has been a clear boon for the league.Earlier on Sunday, Swift was pictured speaking to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has called her a “dynamo”.
“Everything she touches, there are people following,” he said at his annual news conference. “We count ourselves fortunate, and we welcome it.” Indeed, Swift’s massive fandom has drawn an even bigger audience to the American sport.
A recent poll from Seton Hall University in New Jersey found that around 21% of Americans – and 41% of 18-34-year-olds – who planned to watch this year’s Super Bowl said Swift’s presence influenced their decision, or that of someone in their household who also chose to watch the match.
“The viewership for this game is on a seemingly inexorable march toward more viewers, and this year Taylor Swift may be playing the role of drum major,” said Daniel Ladik, chief methodologist for the poll.
Swift had arrived in Las Vegas minutes before kick-off after a long journey from Tokyo, where she had played a concert on Saturday evening.She was pictured arriving at the Allegiant stadium with family and famous friends, including rapper Ice Spice, singer Lana Del Rey and actress Blake Lively.