Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are filling a blank space between young girls and their dads.
Yes, the high profile romance between the pop star and the Kansas City Chiefs tight end has helped fathers and daughters connect, even while Swift has faced backlash about how much she is shown when she attends a game.
Connecticut dad Keith Stoeckeler said his daughter Emme, 7, has become a football fan because of Swift, who has turned out for multiple games this season.
“For me, it felt like the Super Bowl, which would be the only other time that anybody would remotely want to sit down and watch football with me,” he told TODAY in a story that aired Jan. 19.
“It was appointment viewing. It was not just ‘Oh, OK, football’s on. We’ll watch it with you. We want to watch that,’” he added.
When it comes to watching football, the Swift effect seems real, going even beyond dads and daughters bonding.
Viewership among teen girls jumped 53% when the singer attended the Chiefs-New York Jets game on “Sunday Night Football” last October, NBC News reported.
“I think that the Taylor Swift relationship with the NFL is she’s just there to have fun. And what’s been exciting is she’s bringing a whole new set of eyes to this game,” USA Today Taylor Swift reporter Bryan West told TODAY.
Even Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said he’s seen an uptick in a new demographic rooting on his team.
“Our female audience has grown by leaps and bounds,” he told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
Stoeckeler said having this new connection has been a win-win for him and his daughter.
“It allows us to spend more time together and do the things that we both individually like to do,” he said.
Stoeckeler and his daughter, along with many more NFL fans, will have their eyes glued to the Chiefs game this weekend when the team travels to Buffalo to face the Bills on Jan. 21. The game will air 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.