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Calgary business seizes on Swifties' newfound passion for the Super Bowl

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Whether it’s the food, the halftime show or the game itself, Super Bowl Sunday draws tens of millions of viewers every year. It’s regularly the most-watched telecast of the year.

But this year, it’s also the spectacle in the stands that has a whole new passionate fan base tuning in, and one Calgary business cashing in.

Super Bowl 58 features the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, led by coach Andy Reid, and the San Francisco 49ers, led by Kyle Shanahan, facing off in Las Vegas late Sunday afternoon in a sequel to the 2020 Super Bowl.

It’s the fourth head coach rematch in Super Bowl history, but this one is historic for another reason.

The high-profile romance between Chiefs all-pro tight end Travis Kelce and pop superstar Taylor swift has taken fans’ attention off the field and into the stands, where the TV cameras frequently find Swift, dressed in Chiefs gear, cheering the team on.

One pop culture expert says it’s almost a mythological romance.

“I think people see it almost as a Romeo and Juliet story,” says Lethbridge College pop culture instructor Brent Cottle.

And the love story between Kelce and Swift has attracted an unlikely new fan base to NFL football: the TikTok generation.

“I think the NFL is happy with it,” says Kottle, “because I think they’ll take any fans that they can get – and their brand is so huge, I think they think they can absorb any audience.”

According to SportsMedia.com, 93 of the top 100 television shows of 2023 were NFL games. The top-rated show of 2023 was last year's Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, which drew 115.1 million viewers in the U.S. -- and tens of millions more around the world.

The Alberta Beer Exchange in Calgary is selling six packs of craft cocktails targeted at Swifties watching the Super Bowl Sunday

SWIFTIE SIX PACKS

The meeting of the NFL with Swifties also means big money for business, including TV spots that are selling for over $7 million for a 30-second slot.

But it’s not just TV networks cashing in on the Taylor Swift effect: the Alberta Beer Exchange has created its own six pack of craft cocktails inspired by Swift and Kelce’s relationship.

“Me and my wife were having a laugh,” says Corey Baier, the owner of the Alberta Beer Exchange, “and because we have 49ers and Chiefs packs, we thought we would include the Swifties this year.”

Those six-packs are selling just as fast as those ‘Eras’ concert tickets whenever a Taylor Swift tour stop gets announced.

“(They’re selling) crazy fast,” says Baier. “They (Swifties) love it, they think it’s hilarious…it brings everyone together so it’s good.”

But not everyone is drinking from the same glass when it comes to Swiftie Super Bowl Gatorade.

“I think they preload the seats with a lot of fame,” says one Calgarian, “so that regular people watch it too because they want to see all those (famous) people.”

Another says, “People get bothered by it, people get quite upset by it (Kelce and Swift). I quite like it. I think it’s quite nice and it’s not harming anybody.”

Image from a Swiftie six-pack

While the romantics hope love won’t stay confined to the sidelines on the biggest TV night of 2024.

“I’m hoping they get engaged is the big thing,” another says, “and I will cry.”

The remaining custom Swiftie six packs are on sale at Alberta Beer Exchange at 1642 10th avenue S.W.

Super Bowl 58 kicks off Sunday at 4:30 p.m. MST.

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