MR. TITO: How Taylor Swift’s NFL Appearances for Travis Kelce Relates to WWE’s Celebrity Usage

During early 2021 when the WWE announced that rapper and singer Bad Bunny was not only going to work and appear for WWE shows, but actually enter the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble, my immediate question was this: who on earth is Bad Bunny and why is everyone hyping this as such a big deal?

Of course, I’m in my 40s and honestly haven’t given much of a damn about music since the early 2000s (with few exceptions). I had no idea who this guy was, but then when you “look under the hood”, damn… Many, many awards and chart-topping songs/albums on Billboard. In terms of Spotify streams, Bad Bunny had the most for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Overall on Spotify, Bad Bunny is 8th overall with monthly listeners, but keep in mind, he’s still technically new with his biggest hits beginning in 2018.

He’s a big deal to generations younger than me, and hence why WWE has rolled out the red carpet to get ANY participation from him at pro wrestling events.

I was initially hesitant about Logan Paul, though with his boxing background and personality online, I figured he could be a good fit to pro wrestling. But the guy has over 23 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. Holy cow, but that’s just who is subscribed to his channel… Many of his posted videos are well above that on page views alone.

Of course, I’m a huge fan of Pat McAfee because he is discussing sports, notably the NFL, and that’s in my wheelhouse. Most of the guys on his show are my age or close to it, so thus I can relate to Pat more than I can Logan Paul or Bad Bunny. Yet, both of those latter 2 are actually much larger stars to the world than Pat McAfee.

So yeah… I have to admit being wrong on Bad Bunny, in particular, though my concerns were how other fully trained wrestlers HAD TO SELL for his inexperienced and smaller frame. With Logan Paul, my concern was pushing him too fast despite his inexperience, but he looks like a longtime pro out there. I probably tend to overrate Pat’s impact to WWE shows because I’m a fan of the Pat McAfee show (which is doing quite fine on ESPN, thank you very much haters). That said, I tried Bad Bunny’s music and I just can’t do it… It’s not for me, but I respect how he’s beloved by many.

Why is the WWE trying to bring in top name celebrities to participate on their WWE events?

Well, it’s the SAME REASON why they brought in Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper for Wrestlemania 1.

SAME REASON why the WWE brought in Mike Tyson during early 1998. Years later, Tony Khan tried to rehash that Tyson momentum by using him as well.

SAME REASON why WCW brought in Dennis Rodman to join the NWO during 1997, though WCW kept going to the well on that one. I wasn’t a fan of the Jay Leno stuff, but it created a brief buzz for WCW during August 1998.

WWE wants NEW viewers to try their product, with the celebrity being the hook. Yes, it will create newer fans who fully respect the traditions that loyal wrestling viewers, but that’s a big risk that WWE is willing to take. They KNOW you are loyal and won’t leave, so therefore, they’ll try to bring in new fans with celebrity hooks.

Same thing when you look at Comcast/Dish/DirecTV… For years, they’d give GREAT DEALS to brand new customers while constantly raising prices on loyal customers. They were testing your loyalty and made billions off of it by obtaining new customers and retaining foolishly loyal ones. Thanks to cheaper streaming services, Cable/Satellite are finally eating their karma of their prior business model.

Which brings me to the National Football League(NFL)… Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce shot his shot by asking possibly the biggest celebrity star on the planet, Taylor Swift, out, and the rest his history. By Taylor attending just 2 Kansas City Chiefs games, the following has happened:

(1) Highest Sunday Afternoon ratings of the year.
(2) Highest Sunday Night ratings of the year.
(3) MASSIVE increase in the 12-19 female demographic, which is the NFL’s weakest demo.
(4) 400% increase in one week of Travis Kelce’s jerseys, and he’s now in the top 10 jersey sales.

BUT THE NERVE of loyal NFL fans to trash NBC for their Taylor Swift coverage. What the hell, man… Sure, they talked about her in the pre-game and showed different snapshots of her during the game, but did it interrupt any plays on the field? NO! The game happened like it usually did… It just so happened that it was viewed by a lady who just made $1 BILLION for her concert tour this past year. Sorry, but she’s a BIG DEAL and #2, about to be #1, on Spotify (well ahead of Bad Bunny, too).

So what if she’s attending games. Celebrities attend almost every big city NBA game and get mentioned heavily, but does that affect their game? NO, it enhances the atmosphere because someone who made movies or music that everybody loves is attending the games.

If I were advising the NFL right now about Taylor Swift, I’d show MORE OF HER!! Hell, I’d split the damn screen to picture & picture to show her in the skybox and the game on the other screen. Milk it! Taylor has TRIPLE the amount of followers on Twitter/X than the NFL has, but she freakin’ has 273 million followers on Instagram!

Are you going to tell me, as loyal WWE fans, that you wouldn’t take the phone call to have Taylor Swift attend a WWE show?

Hell, you lost your damn minds a few weeks ago when the Rock appeared for the first time in years. Yes, I know he was a past WWE superstar, but he’s more of a movie star and celebrity now.

Of course, it can be overdone and over-exposes things… That said, if you have the absolute biggest star at something, such as Bad Bunny or Taylor Swift on Spotify or Logan Paul on YouTube (which is what matters now to the younger audience), you milk it. They are STARS beyond your wildest imaginations with tens or hundreds of millions of followers.

Again, why did the WWE have Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T for Wrestlemania 1? For that matter, why did they sign Hulk Hogan back to the WWE? Because his popularity was booming from Rocky 3!

Why was Donald Trump heavily featured for Wrestlemanias 4, 5, and 23? Not a political statement, but the guy has been a huge celebrity for 40 years now and hence why he became President and may do so again, even in spite of indictments.

Pam Anderson at Wrestlemania 11…

Mike Tyson in early 1998 for WWE and he really amped up Steve Austin’s position as a wrestling star.

Dennis Rodman during 1997 and 1998, bringing Karl Malone with him.

Now Bad Bunny, Logan Paul, and Pat McAfee in the present…

It works because it brings in outside fans to try to become wrestling fans in the short-term and hopefully for the long-term. Is it working long-term lately, probably not. But you loyal fans who keep complaining about celebrities, you’re still here…

Until you stop watching the WWE and investing in them financially, WWE is going to keep appealing to newer fans with gimmicks and celebrities. Yes, they are disregarding your loyalty, but your loyalty being a fault is your problem, not theirs.

CLICK HERE for the Mr. Tito Column Archive @ NoDQ