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The Swifting ESG Landscape: Why Taylor Swift is the New “T” in ESG

The Swifting ESG Landscape: Why Taylor Swift is the New “T” in ESG

Taylor Swift
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ESG was born out of a pretty simple idea. There are Environmental, Social, and Governance factors that can have a profound impact on a company. These non-financial issues can have a financial impact on the company, but it goes well beyond risks. Understanding these outside forces well can represent an opportunity for a company. 

But what if that ESG opportunity manifested in a person? Is that even possible? What force of nature would it take to add an entire letter to the acronym around a single person?

Well, I’ve argued that a “T” should be added to the acronym for Technology, due to its essential underpinning of modern business, but perhaps another T is in order. You guessed it, Taylor Swift.

One could almost argue that Taylor Swift has a Michael Jordan-to-Nike-like influence boost over brands. The NFL is certainly enjoying her appearance at recent games, causing ticket prices to spike just on the rumor she will appear. Swift brings economic prosperity wherever she goes. Again, ESG impacts a company. Right now, there seems to be no bigger positive impact on companies than Swift aligning with your brand or appearing in your town. 

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Disney, a massive company that employs over 200,000, claims that it generates $40B of revenue for Florida in its anti-ESG spat with Florida’s governor. They are a material contributor to Florida’s economy. Taylor Swift is only one person, yet her moving presence is almost like the opposite of an extreme weather event, leaving growth and opportunity in her wake. Two of her shows are estimated to have brought $140M to Colorado95% of hotel rooms were booked for her Philadelphia show. Overall, her ErasTour has generated over $50B of economic value globally

Whether through her direct influence, like appearing at NFL games, or her indirect influence over local economies, she is a force of nature. People are eager to get out and spend their growing post-COVID savings,  and Swift is an inspiring figure people would like to see even multiple times. For specific industries, it might be time to add Swift to your materiality matrix or perhaps we should finally just add T to the acronym. 

This article is contributed by Matthew Sekol. Every week ESG News delivers smart commentary from ESG practitioners and experts to unpack issues of the day. Submit an article for editorial consideration for the ESG Unpacked series here: [email protected]


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