It's been four months since the romance was revealed between the two 34-year-olds, and public interest hasn't waned. Although the Grammy-winning singer has been on hiatus from her record-breaking "Eras Tour" in the U.S. since August, she's brought her stardom to a stadium near you — if the Kansas City Chiefs have been in town, that is. When Taylor finally met Travis's brother, Jason Kelce, last weekend, it's all the internet could talk about for days. (Jason's shirtless antics certainly helped too.)
"This is more than a relationship," public relations executive Ronn Torossian, founder and chairman of 5WPR, tells Yahoo Entertainment. "It's a phenomenon."
Why public interest in Swift and Travis isn't 'dying down any time soon.'
Famous people coupling up is nothing new; however, it's been a while since the pairing of two stars has caused such a stir.
"There are a couple of reasons the interest in Taylor and Travis has not slowed down. For starters, Swift's die-hard fans, who continue to grow her fan base week after week, always show up or tune in to support the singer and her relationship. Others can't help but tune in out of curiosity," Torossian explains.
But it's deeper than that.
"People instinctively seek out joint experiences, we want to say they were there or tuned in when something major happens, and we want to be the ones who pick up on the small details that either prove the relationship is real or PR," he shares, adding he doesn’t “think the public interest is dying down any time soon."
Claire Sisco King, an associate professor of communication studies and chair of cinema and media arts at Vanderbilt University, makes a similar point. She explains to Yahoo Entertainment it’s part of our culture to feel emotionally connected to celebrities, like Swift and Travis, and ultimately feel invested in their relationship.
"Personal relationships, including family and romance, play a central part in celebrity narratives, as they can be sites for identification and/or aspiration," she continues.
Watching Swift and Kelce is like watching a real-life movie and people can’t help but tune in.
"In this way, celebrity is often similar to such genres as melodrama, the rom-com or the soap opera." King adds. "These genres tend to focus on interpersonal and intimate relationships and encourage audiences to become invested in the relationships of others — whether they are real or imagined."
Travis's public nature and Swift's 'unparalleled fame' elevates interest to the next level.
Swift is no stranger to high-profile relationships. Each boyfriend has had a different comfortability with fame. Her yearslong romance with the British actor Joe Alwyn, who shied away from fame, coincided with a time when Swift said she was at her lowest, hiding from the spotlight. (“Me locking myself away in my house for a lot of years — I'll never get that time back. I'm more trusting now than I was six years ago,” Swift recently told Time.) Travis couldn't be more different than Alwyn, essentially shouting his admiration for Swift from the rooftops (OK, his podcast) heart-hand signals and all. Those public declarations help add to the public and media's obsession with the two.
"Unlike some of Swift's past relationship partners, Travis also seems to be willing to share details from his personal life and talk in ways that feel candid and vulnerable. This part of his persona also adds to the amount of discourse about the relationship, especially given Swift's history of singing about her relationships in rather personal and detailed ways," King explains.
It's not like Travis was a no-name jock on the sidelines before linking up with Swift. He's a two-time Super Bowl champion, has hosted Saturday Night Live and is one of the biggest faces of the NFL, America's most popular sport.
"Swift and Travis's relationship has been considered so newsworthy because of Swift’s rather unparalleled fame, network of famous friends and intense fan culture but also because Travis himself has done a good job of building a public image and creating a fan base through his podcast, documentary etc.," King shares. "The fact that his brother is also a famous athlete adds to the excitement and increases the channels for publicity."
Cue the royal comparisons.
Swift was just dubbed MVP — 'most valuable princess' — at Chiefs game. 'You couldn't write it better if you tried.'
Torossian, who agrees public interest with the couple "is on par with that of the royal family," says Swift "has held the unofficial title of 'The People's Princess' well before her relationship with Travis."
"Again, the public wants an interest or experience to rally behind and create this collective experience. We want to bond over our love and admiration for them, or the opposite. Even further, the convergence of the Swift and Travis's families further parallels that of the Royals," Torossian continues. "For starters, you have Travis's brother Jason, who is a public figure and comes with his own fan base, and his wife, whose tabloids and headlines have seemingly already tried to pit against Taylor ahead of their initial meeting."
It's true. Tabloids have tried to pit Swift against Jason's wife, Kylie Kelce. While there's obvious tension within Britain’s royal family, there's really nothing to see here with Swift and the Kelces. ("They all got along great last weekend," one source assures Yahoo Entertainment.)
Still, the "parallels are easy to make" with the royals, Torossian explains. He adds of royal comparisons: “The way this has all played out, you couldn't write it better if you tried, and because of that, people can't help but give it attention
King notes that celebrity culture in the U.S. "has always had a degree of alignment with the British royal family." Beyoncé and Jay-Z have had similar comparisons. So did Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie when they were together.
"During her most recent appearance at the AFC Division round playoff game, a broadcaster quite literally referred to her as the 'MVP of Chiefs Kingdom, the most valuable princess,'" King adds. "The way this has all played out, you couldn't write it better if you tried, and because of that, people can't help but give it attention."