Taylor Swift Will Define Super Bowl 2024 Just by Showing Up

Over the previous two weeks, Taylor Swift has made headlines dozens of instances. Only one, perhaps two of these cases have been due to one thing she truly did. Her music getting faraway from TikTok? That was a disagreement between Universal Music Group and the app itself. Her songs getting boosted illegally? That was pirates. Explicit deepfakes of Swift? Blame 4chan. Conspiracy theories that Swift is a psyop? Those come from right-wing commentators. Swift successful Grammys and asserting a brand new album, The Tortured Poets Department? That information Swift truly broke herself. Taylor Swift is the eye economic system’s Tasmanian satan and all anybody can do is attempt to watch with out getting dizzy.

On Sunday, that Tasmanian satan might be going to Super Bowl LVIII.

The “probably” in that sentence can be one thing of a information merchandise. Two weeks in the past, after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens and secured their place within the Big Game, followers instantly checked Swift’s Eras Tour schedule—solely to seek out she’ll be in Tokyo the night time earlier than her boyfriend, Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce, hits the turf. After a lot fretting, and an help from The West Wing, followers rested assured that she may make it. Further assuaging fears, the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC, posted on X that “despite the 12-hour flight and 17-hour time difference, the Embassy can confidently Speak Now to say that if she departs Tokyo in the evening after her concert, she should comfortably arrive in Las Vegas before the Super Bowl.” This additionally made information.

Now, I’m writing about it. This is wild. It’s turning the American custom of beers, burgers, and the Bowl right into a popular culture and political lightning rod. The collision of flag-waving soccer vitality and Swift’s model of movie star feminism are inflicting a cultural confluence not seen since Super Bowl 50 in 2016, when Beyoncé carried out “Formation” and conservatives decried Coldplay’s halftime present for selling the homosexual agenda. Except Swift isn’t even performing. If there’s a horrible storm between Tokyo and Las Vegas she won’t even make it. If she reveals up and belches, the web will look into it; Google search curiosity for “watch necklace” all however quadrupled primarily based on her Grammys accent. Imagine what a bit of gasoline may do.

Swift’s mere presence at Chiefs video games has been bringing big viewership spikes to NFL broadcasts this season. Last yr’s Super Bowl, which featured an iconic efficiency by Rihanna, was seen by a colossal 115 million individuals, based on Nielsen. Swift’s attendance—and even the concept she may attend—at LVIII may put viewership even larger. Even although the sport is already the US’s most-watched sporting occasion of the yr, having Swift concerned considerably impacts the occasion’s cultural cache.

“The Super Bowl is already such a major US pop culture event. It’s already a mix of people who like the NFL, which is a big audience, and then you’ve got the people who are more interested in the ads than the game,” says Charles R. Taylor, a advertising professor at Villanova University. “Now you add this Taylor Swift Effect on top of that and it’s going to be record-breaking.”

This, in flip, is why Swift usually finds herself within the crosshairs of conspiracy theorists and AI deepfake makers. Celebrity is a black gap for eyeballs, pulling in all the eye it could get. Swift’s model, which has advanced in each mainstream media and social media concurrently, is not like something earlier than it. Swift now dominates TikTok and Instagram, identical to she did Tumblr a decade in the past. Awareness of Swift is aware of no borders, so anybody searching for consideration—deepfakers, podcast pundits—will get extra mileage out of utilizing her identify and picture than every other.