Taylor Swift
Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is flanked by rapper Ice Spice, actress Blake Lively, Jason Kelce, Donna Kelce and Ed Kelce at Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers AFP / Patrick T. Fallon

The Kansas City Chiefs are the Super Bowl LVIII champions! They defeated the San Franciso 49ers 25-22 on Sunday night, in a sensational title defence that has not been done since Tom Brady's New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004.

Millions of people from around the world were watching the Super Bowl, but this year's event had a very different audience. There were hoards of first-time viewers thanks to the influence of pop superstar Taylor Swift. You must be living under a rock if you have not heard by now that the record-breaking artist is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

As expected, she took a long-haul flight all the way from Tokyo, Japan right after her February 10 "Eras Tour" show to make it to Las Vegas to cheer on her man. Indeed, she was not disappointed as she was shown being crushed in a group hug in the VIP suite where she was watching the match alongside her friends Blake Lively, Lana del Rey and members of the Kelce family.

Swift looked fresh and without a hint of jet lag as she stood for most of the match chugging beers while cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs. In the row behind her, Travis' parents, Donna and Ed Kelce were also watching intently, alongside his brother Jason.

The 49ers were the favourites to win the Super Bowl over the defending champions due to a better record throughout the entire season. The Allegiant Stadium spectators were on their feet for most of the evening as a field goal by the Chiefs in the closing seconds of regulation time made it 19-19. The nail-biting game went into overtime, with the 49ers edging back in front 22-19. However, Patrick Mahomes made a brilliant touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman, sealing the title defence for the Chiefs at 22-25.

The cameras immediately tried to focus on Swift, but she was barely visible in the middle of a sea of arms and bodies that were locked in a massive group hug in the VIP suite. The 33-year-old was shown on camera more than ten times throughout the match, much to the delight of her fans who have suddenly found themselves watching the Super Bowl, some for the very first time.

The focus on Swift irked some long-time fans, with some gatekeepers annoyed by the sudden influx of new "fans" who know little about the game. Nevertheless, the Super Bowl has always been as much entertainment as it is a sporting event, with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Sir Paul McCartney also in attendance.

The Super Bowl half-time show is also one of the most talked-about performances each year, even if it adds nothing to the actual outcome of the game. This year, the show was headlined by R&B star Usher and supported by the likes of Alicia Keys, Ludacris and will.i.am.

Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift
US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce embrace after the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers AFP / Patrick T. Fallon

Despite all the fanfare and the actual excitement of the game, headlines are filled with comments and reactions over Swift's presence at the event as well as speculations about her budding romance with Kelce. The two were first spotted together in September, days after the NFL star watched a leg of the singer's wildly successful "Eras Tour".

Following her confirmation about the end of her long-term relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn, her fandom was eager to lap up every detail about her new romance with Kelce. Luckily for them, Travis and his brother Jason are no strangers to fame, and they were more than happy to talk about the singer on their podcast "New Heights With Jason And Travis Kelce".

The openness shown by Travis even in the early days of the relationship endeared him to Swifties, leading millions of them to start following the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs. The singer's regular presence at the games has also led to quite a phenomenon.

The fact that she jetted off from a show in Tokyo just to be able to catch the Super Bowl was quite a feat, thankfully helped by the 17-hour time difference. Swift was dressed in a black cropped tank, but she covered up with a Chiefs jacket just as she usually does while watching games.

The ratings will surely go through the roof for this year's Super Bowl, with it having already been one of the most-viewed sporting events even before the arrival of Swift and her veritable army of fans.

In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, conspiracy theories even sprouted across social media, with some people claiming that the Swift and Kelce romance has been manufactured by the Democrats.

Swift has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, and it was said that her relationship is part of a political ploy to gain more votes for Democratic re-election candidate Joe Biden. The NFL has since dismissed this theory as "nonsense".

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell welcomed Swift to the NFL family, saying: "Everything she touches, there are people following. We count ourselves fortunate, and we welcome it."