Everyone’s talking about Taylor Swift this week as her boyfriend, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, preps for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Why not us, too? After all, Swifties have had a big influence on pizza sales throughout the past year’s NFL season—at least when Kelce’s “red”-hot team is on the field.
That’s according to Ilir Sela, founder and CEO of Slice, the consumer ordering app and technology platform for independent pizzerias around the U.S. In a February 8 press release about his company’s annual Slice of the Union report, Sela made note of a fun little factoid. “Pizza orders,” he said, “increased 10.4% during Kansas City Chiefs games after Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce got together.”
Since Sela’s company compiles the Slice of the Union report from data on 20,000 independent pizza shops in its network, that suggests Swifties eat a lot of local pizza, so kudos to them.
But Domino’s, the world’s No. 1 pizza brand, has a sly trick up its sleeve to draw some of those fans away from mom-and-pop shops over the next few days. As the Super Bowl nears, the chain has introduced a bundle deal, called the Perfect Combo, priced at $19.89, a nod to the artist’s 2014 hit album, 1989. And to get the deal, which is offered February 7-11, customers have to use the promo code 1387—which brings together Swift’s lucky number and Kelce’s jersey number.
To be sure, Domino’s made no mention of Swift in the press release announcing its Perfect Combo deal. But her adoring fans will undoubtedly pick up on the reference, and many will likely order the deal.
Is Swift a chain pizza fan? We don’t think so. When she orders pizza, she orders a lot of it—and she (or someone on her team) prefers local independents. For a June 23 concert in Minneapolis last year, she ordered 50 pies from a locally owned restaurant, Broadway Pizza/The Eagles Nest Lounge, in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, to feed her hungry crew. According to the Sun Post, the pies were delivered to the U.S. Bank Stadium for a post-show feast.
Swift also treated her crew to pizza from another independent shop—Avenue Steaks and Pizza in Philadelphia—for a concert last May. “One of my managers called me, and she said, ‘Oh, my God, we gotta make pizza for Taylor Swift!’” owner Christian Palamone told CBS News. “And I’m, like, ‘What do you mean? You sure it’s for her?'” Worried that it might be a prank, Palamone instructed a staff member to call back and verify that the 50 pies really were for Swift. They were. Then, later that day, Swift’s team called again and added 25 more pizzas to the order. Palamone said the order was so large and time-consuming, he had to shut down his shop for a couple of hours to fulfill it.
“I believe we have great pizza, and if it’s good enough for Taylor Swift, it’s good enough for everybody, so come and try it,” Palamone said.
Prior to an August 2019 concert in Central Park, Swift sent 20 pizzas to a crowd of around 200 fans who had camped out on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk the night before the show. We’ll assume that order was placed with one of NYC’s many amazing independent pizza shops.
Even so, Swift has a past connection to a major pizza brand, too. In 2012, she partnered with Papa Johns to promote the release of her CD, Red. Through various Papa Johns channels, Swifties were invited to purchase Red along with a large one-topping pizza for $22.
“I’m excited to be partnering with Papa Johns for the launch of my new album, Red,” Swift said in a statement at that time. “I love the idea that fans can order my CD with their pizzas.”
At this point in her career, Swift doesn’t need any help, from Papa Johns or anyone else, to sell records. So when she’s performing in your city, be ready: Her love of freshly made pies from hometown pizza joints is clearly more than mere folklore.