With Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift Is Finally Part of a Power Couple

Gareth Cattermole/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
Gareth Cattermole/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

As Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour continues its billion-dollar march across the globe, the megastar remains front page news wherever she goes. During her stop in London, she entertained royals, performed some beloved deep cuts, and even made Hugh Grant smile. During a performance of "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart," she was accompanied in her performance by her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce. He donned a top hat and tails to be one of her dancers, carrying her in a dramatic fashion and acting as the Fred to her Ginger. It made Swifties go wild with excitement and brought further attention to Kelce in a country where American football is a niche interest. Not that he needed to remind the Eras Tour attendees of who he was. They’re all in on this romance.

In the year or so since Swift and Kelce paired up, they have become a dominant couple in the world of A-List celebrity. She’s a singer at the top of her game, he’s an athlete who is considered one of the best in his field. They’re photographed everywhere together and have utilized the attention to make themselves even more famous. They are a bona fide power couple, which is a true first for Swift. Travis and Taylor, Swift and Kelce, TNT.

Not every celebrity pairing of two famous people can be called a power couple. Swift has dated many famous men before: John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston, and Joe Alwyn, to name a few. None of them have been at her level of fame, but that has less to do with the guys’ professions than the reality of Swift’s once-in-a-generation megastar status. But these relationships weren’t molded into presentations of power or used in such a way. You didn’t see, for example, Swift and Gyllenhaal collaborating on a music video. She co-wrote songs with Harris and Alwyn, but these were kept out of the spotlight. They weren’t displays of their joint prowess.

What makes a power couple different from two famous lovers is the utilization of that fame for something grander than these people would be able to accomplish independently. Consider how George and Amal Clooney use their intense fame and abilities to jointly campaign for political causes, or how David and Victoria Beckham launched various brands and products based on their mutual glamor. A power couple can make stuff happen. They can make one another bigger, better, more interesting. They’ll stand on the sidelines but also be welcomed on stage or to the pitch. He’ll get her face in front of more TV audiences through the playoffs. She’ll make him more visible to Hollywood agents. Together, the world will be their oyster.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift celebrating at the Super Bowl

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Swift’s romances have experienced various levels of visibility. The summer of Hiddleswift, complete with “I Heart TS” tees and an extensively documented beach party, inspired more giggles than heart eyes. With Alwyn, Swift’s partner for six years, the pair were exceedingly private, rejecting rec carpet hand holding and fawning cover quotes for magazine profiles. It was a good fit for Swift at a time when her reputation had taken a dent and her music became more folksy and introspective.

Now, however, she’s in her icon era, and that calls for a boyfriend to match. Kelce has more than stepped up to the plate. It’s not just his dapper on-stage antics and singalongs in the VIP section: it’s the dramatic kiss on the field after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl this year; it’s the giddy tidbits he offers about her on his podcast; it’s his extended family, including his brother Jason and mother Donna (who all have their own agents and brand deals), welcoming her into the fold and publicly talking up this glorious romance. He doesn’t view dating an impossibly famous singer as a hindrance and seems happy to be by her side, if perhaps a step back to let her get the full shine. Think of him as the Alexis Ohanian to her Serena Williams—both hugely successful individuals who embrace being trophy husbands without sacrificing their own professional ambitions.

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Kelce has fully been accepted by Swiftie Nation and integrated into the lore. They wear Chiefs shirts at her concerts and cheer his football skills as an extension of her greatness. He’s the football hunk who took his shot and asked out his crush, the tight end who will put on a song and dance for his love and be as corny as the world wants him to be. Swifties like how publicly romantic he is, in sharp contrast to the carefully maintained privacy of Alwyn. To put it bluntly, he is giving the people what they want: more Taylor in love, and more Taylor in power.

The numbers also speak for themselves. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Swift's presence at Chiefs games increased NFL viewership, with Commissioner Roger Goodell praising the pair as being “nothing but a positive” for the league), and Forbes reported that the Chiefs franchise had gained $331.4 million in value in six months thanks to the might of TNT. That’s what a power couple does. Neither are shy about these advantages, particularly Kelce. Long before Taylor, he was already opening doors for a post-football career with his podcast, brand deals, and SNL appearances (remember when he had a dating show?) Now, he’s signing up to host game shows, produce movies, and star in Ryan Murphy joints. In 2023, Business Insider estimated that Kelce makes about $5 million a year in off-the-field earnings. Being part of TNT will certainly increase that. More eyeballs on your person means more money.

Being in a power couple can be a double-edged sword. If one half sees their popularity flounder, it inevitably impacts the other half, as those of us who loved through Bennifer Part One keenly remember. Swift’s exes have certainly felt the wrath of her fans and the embarrassment of a few candid songs. Some fans still worry that Kelce is only interested in Swift as a way to burnish his own profile. But the enthusiasm for TNT is also undeniable. Two hot and rich celebrities want the world to know that they love one another and that, united in romance and branding, they could take on the world together. It’s not hard to see why Swift seems to blissful with Kelce, a man who has embraced every part of her and opened himself up to the same kind of public consumption. Lana Del Rey said that the secret to Swift’s success is that she wants it more than anyone else. In Kelce, she seems to have found someone who endorses that philosophy and wants to open even more doors for her along the way. That’s power.

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