Thought Leadership

The Era of Impact: How Taylor Swift has captivated audiences and brought local communities to life across the U.S. and around the world

February 9, 2024

As she kicks off the second leg of her record-shattering Eras Tour in Japan after making history at the Grammy Awards, we can’t help but recognize and reflect on the extraordinary impact Taylor Swift has not only had on her legions of loyal fans (like us!), but on the local communities that have hosted her historic Eras Tour performances.

“Swiftonomics” aren’t only about Swift’s global influence but about the incredible impact she has had on the communities where we live and work. Swift has certainly left a “Blank Space” for local grassroots advocacy that we will attempt to fill in through outlining five key things that likely don’t come to mind while scavenging for the best Eras Tour seats or selecting which album to listen to next:

A “Reputation”-defining Campaign: It’s the grassroots campaign of every strategist’s “wildest dreams” – achieving the adoration and support of nearly every major city mayor across the country. Metropolitan mayors were effusive in their praise when Swift chose to take the Eras Tour to their cities, particularly given the boost to tourism and the local economy. The Mayor of Santa Clara and the Mayor of Tampa  gave Swift a key to their respective cities and made her an honorary “Mayor for the Day.” Cincinnati’smayor even issued a proclamation declaring June 30, 2023 as ‘Taylor Swift Day’– a nod to the popstar’s ability to bring together likeminded individuals in the community to support something they are passionate about. This is also something we strive to achieve in our daily work.

When Economic “Sparks Fly:” The Eras Tour provides an extraordinary and unique example of how local economies from Philadelphia to Seattle collectively impact the larger, national economy. Along with topping the music charts (including with re-released albums) last year, Swift’s Eras Tour catapulted the U.S. tourism economy back to pre-pandemic levels. In Cincinnati alone, it’s estimated she injected$48 million into the local economy. The Federal Reserve even projected the tour added more than $5 billion to the U.S. economy in 2023! As loyal “Swifties,” we will remain tuned into the latest news related to the Eras Tour and its impact on other local economies around the world.

“Fearless” Innovation across Multiple Industries: In addition to being one of the most successful tours of all time, Swift’s Eras Tour is now among the top concert tour movies in history. Swift’s decision to bring the Eras Tour to movie theaters wasn’t a typical movie deal. In an innovative move that could serve as a blueprint for experiential film releases by studios in the future, Swift exclusively partnered with AMC, which gave her and her team more creative control over the promotional efforts around the movie, ticket sales and merchandise. “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” generated$92.8 million in ticket sales during its first weekend at the box office –making it the fifth-biggest opening of any theatrical release this year. And it doesn’t end there. On her birthday, December 13th, she released the movie on streaming services such as Youtube TV, Amazon Prime, Google, and Apple, among others, for anyone to bring the massively successful worldwide tour into their own communities and homes.

Headlines That Never Go Out of “Style:” As communications professionals know, the average news cycle is often a short-lived glimpse into day-to-day events; however, Taylor Swift consistently remained in the headlines throughout 2023 and into 2024. From major networks airing the Kansas City Chiefs’ games, to news outlets such as CBS, Axios, and Forbes covering the extensive impact of her tour, to all of the speculation around her making the trip from Tokyo to Las Vegas in time for the Super Bowl kick-off this weekend -- she is a name you continue to hear without even listening for it. In fact, USA Today employs a reporter who solely focuses on reporting about Taylor Swift – a job we would gladly do for free! Many popstars and celebrities make headlines but rarely have the same staying power as Swift. Now, with the upcoming release of her next album amid her ongoing worldwide Eras Tour, expect Swift to continue dominating the headlines.

“A Place in this World” for Swifties: As successful as Swift is at establishing herself as a legendary artist, she remains firmly committed to meaningfully engaging with her fans. Whether she’s performing in large stadiums or smaller, intimate concert halls, Swift’s deliberate choice in venues reflects a thoughtful approach to intentionally reach her fans in a way that sets her apart from other performers. Despite her profile, Swift has worked diligently to keep communities at the forefront of the conversation around the Eras Tour – including working directly with local vendors and businesses to generate buzz and draw in the people who live and work in the communities where she will perform. By choosing to diversify her concert venues, Swift helped generate local economic booms in communities typically overlooked by other artists. As she expertly demonstrates, knowing your audience is key to garnering meaningful engagement.

In countless ways, Taylor Swift epitomizes the thoughtful and intentional professionalism we strive to bring to our clients while helping them successfully navigate local communities, engage priority stakeholders and secure enduring partnerships. Having been fortunate to attend the Eras Tourin-person, not only did we take away lasting memories but invaluable lessons in how we meaningfully connect with our clients in ways that translate into truly impactful community engagement programs on their behalf.

 

 

Hella Sisca is a Senior Account Executive at Direct Impact. Her professional background includes public affairs, public relations, constituent and client services as well as social media management. She follows all things Taylor Swift and is well-versed in the lyrical “eras” of the popstar, having attended Swift’s Fearless, Red, and, most recently, her Eras Tours in New York City. Based in Direct Impact’s New York City office, Hella is a short walk from Swift’s old Cornelia Street apartment. Prior to Direct Impact, Hella worked on Capitol Hill as a Press Secretary to a U.S. Senator.

Lindsey Beane is an Account Executive at Direct Impact. With experience in marketing, public relations and client management, she provides support and strategic consulting to clients in the financial services and tech sectors She is a self-proclaimed “Swiftie” and attended the Eras Tourin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Taylor Swift’s home state!) and is planning to see the show again in London this summer. In addition to the Eras Tour, Lindsey has seen Taylor Swift perform live in concert on three previous occasions. Prior to working at Direct Impact, she worked as a Business Development Representative for a financial education software company and as a public relations intern at a public affairs agency.

Related Articles.

Contact Us.

Have a local issue you need to address? Looking to engage the right audience in key communities?Want to reach consumers and policymakers at a hyper-local level? Direct Impact can help.

Contact Us