KANSAS CITY, Missouri –
A flammable cake burns the Kansas City Chiefs logo to reveal the image of pop superstar Taylor Swift underneath. The prayer candles feature Grammy winner and her star boyfriend, tight end Travis Kelce. The sweatshirts are emblazoned with “Kelce’s Best Catch” and “Go Kansas City Swiftie.”
As the Chiefs prepare to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Kansas City’s fourth Super Bowl appearance in five years, stores can hardly keep in stock caps, sweatshirts and other things (some stranger than others) commemorating sports and pop crossover romance.
Highlights of their courtship are shown on the merchandising. During her tour of Buenos Aires, for example, Swift changed the lyrics of her song “Karma” from “Karma is the guy on the screen” to “Karma is the guy from the Chiefs.” Now Karma sweatshirts are proliferating, part of the surge of Chiefs merchandise hitting store shelves in Kansas City and far beyond.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Katie Mabry van Dieren, owner of Shop Local KC, which sells products made by local artists, including Karma sweatshirts. “She has never shipped so many items from our stores to different states.”
He said he thought the busiest weekend would be when Kansas City hosts the NFL draft in April. But he said Swift’s The Eras Tour concert stop at Arrowhead Stadium over the summer ruined it.
Jewelry made by Emily Bordner is displayed at Shop Local KC in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday, February 5, 2024. Coasters, mugs, T-shirts, candles, posters and artwork are some of the items being sold to commemorate La relationship between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. (AP Photo/Nick Ingram)
The July concert was also what set the stage for the relationship. Kelce was thwarted in his attempt to woo the superstar with a friendship bracelet. But the romantic gesture and public admission of defeat on her “New Heights” podcast caught Swift’s attention. She also fueled a fashion market for Chiefs-themed friendship bracelets.
“I hope Taylor and Travis stay together forever,” van Dieren said. “That would be great for us.”
About 73 percent of adults say they plan to watch the game this year, about 10 percent more than in previous years. And the romance that has dominated headlines throughout the NFL season could be helping to generate interest.
The “Taylor Bowl” is what Maddie Schmitz, owner of Something Sweet by Maddie Lou in Coon Rapids, a suburb of Minneapolis, calls this Sunday’s contest in Las Vegas.
The self-proclaimed Swiftie is behind so-called flammable cakes. Use an edible image printer with edible inks to print the Chiefs and Swift-themed images on two sheets of (you guessed it) edible paper.
“Many women secretly order them and then take them to the Super Bowl party to surprise their husbands because on the outside it is a Chiefs-themed cake, but on the inside it reveals the Taylor Swift love that everyone feels. the females seem to have a thing for her,” Schmitz said.
She’s not the only romantic baker. Dolce Bakery, in the suburb of Prairie Village, Kansas, has an entire “Swiftie Collection” of heart-shaped cakes that she sells.
The pre-game press conferences are filled with questions about the singer.
Mugs and tumblers like these on display at Shop Local KC in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday, February 5, 2024. Coasters, mugs, T-shirts, candles, posters and artwork are some of the items being sold to commemorate the relationship. between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. (AP Photo/Nick Ingram)
After Swift earned the fourth Grammy of her career for album of the year on Sunday, Kelce promised that she has to “bring home some hardware.” Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked several times about Swift, who was front and center in the stands when Kelce scored a touchdown while leading the Chiefs to a 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC title game.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the city has been lucky to have experienced the economic shock. “She is welcome,” he said in a pre-playoff statement, “to stay forever.”
Anything Swift uses is particularly attractive. For example, a ring featuring Kelce’s No. 87 jersey is backordered after it was spotted on Swift’s finger.
The ring’s creator, Emily Bordner of eb & Company, suspects that Donna Kelce bought the ring for her son’s starry-eyed girlfriend. The Kansas City store also gave the NFL mom superstar (her oldest son, Jason Kelce, is a center for the Philadelphia Eagles) a pair of sold-out earrings with the youngest’s number on a Chiefs jersey. . Since then, Swift has also been seen wearing them.
Since then, it’s been all hands on deck, with Bordner’s husband, mother and all their friends ready to help.
“Bananas,” he said. “It’s been absolutely crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my entire life, without a doubt. Absolutely not.”
At Westside Storey, it all started when Swift placed an order last fall. She was later seen wearing a hat and sweatshirt that the Kansas City boutique sent her, recalled Chris Harrington, the store’s owner. He said he initially thought the rush of business would be short-lived, just a funny story to share when the mania subsided.
“People talk about the Taylor Swift effect, and you hear or read about it or whatever, but to like it, to experience it personally, you know, is another level,” he said, adding that “it’s almost becoming like an identity.” of the store”.
The store usually does well when the Chiefs do it, but this year it’s much busier than other recent Super Bowl years. Harrington credits the couple’s star power, saying it has elevated everything to a “global level.” Often, he added, clients have a mission.
“Her sister in Philadelphia sent them to buy a product at the store Taylor shopped at,” he said. “So she’s crazy.”
He recognizes that “everyone has an opinion” about romance. But he adds: “I love it for a million reasons.”
Vancleave reported from Coon Rapids, Minnesota