‘I would anticipate that it goes for a good buck,’ charity’s executive director says

Men's football player celebrates with women's pop star following football game.
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce celebrates with Taylor Swift after a 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship on Jan. 28. A Kelce jersey signed by the couple is up for auction by a Guelph, Ont., children’s charity. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

In her wildest dreams, Helen Loftin never expected a Travis Kelce jersey signed by the Kansas City Chiefs tight end and his girlfriend, superstar musician Taylor Swift, to land in an auction for her Guelph, Ont., charity.

Loftin is executive director of the Guelph Wish Fund for Children, which fulfils wishes for children facing medical challenges. The charity has granted over 450 wishes since it was founded in 1984, and has spent approximately $10,000 on each one.

The jersey, which is framed, was set to be included in this weekend’s curling bonspiel and silent auction, an event organized by Guelph automotive manufacturer Linamar that raises thousands of dollars for the charity each year.

But seeing the potential in the jersey and knowing that for some fans it would be bigger than the whole sky to win, the charity decided to auction it online instead.

Loftin said she immediately knew it would be popular.

“I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ Like, just the timing, right? Given the recent Super Bowl win and the Grammys, and plus the whole Taylor Swift tour and just right now the Taylor Swift vortex, if you will, is just so powerful.”

Loftin posted about the jersey on X, formerly Twitter. Within a few hours, the post had reached more than half a million people.

Some questioned whether the signatures and jersey were real. Loftin said it comes with authenticity certificates.

“I do suspect that it will be the highest bid upon value,” she said. “I would anticipate that it goes for a good buck.”

Amid orange and yellow tickertape, a cameraman records as a woman with her eyes closed and a man wearing a football sweater that says KELCE on the back kiss.
It’s a love story for Kelce and Swift, and fans may want to say ‘you belong with me’ to this jersey signed by the couple. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Bidding is set to start at $3,000 and the winner must pick it up in person in Guelph.

Within the frame for the jersey is a photo of Kelce and Swift together after Kansas City won the American Football Conference (AFC) championship on Jan. 28. The team went on to beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.

A jersey from Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is also on the auction block. Bidding starts at $1,800.

The auction ends Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

‘Unique piece being sold at the perfect time’

The jersey was donated by Scottie (NineToe) Johnston, a sports memorabilia collector.

“The jersey is unique as it is signed by both Kelce and Swift. The framing is amazing,” he said, adding it’s hoped the auction will bring in at least $5,000.

Jason Simonds is the sports card specialist and consignment director for Heritage Auctions in New York. While he couldn’t comment on the jersey, having not seen it himself, he said it has the potential to go for a lot of money.

“If it’s authentic, that’s a unique piece being sold at the perfect time. It should bring a five-figure result, especially with the charity aspect; a large result is not out of the question,” Simonds said in an email.

Dan Pollard is vice-president of Kitchener sports memorabilia store Cloutsnchara, which largely deals in hockey cards.

He said he’s not sure how much the jersey is worth, but it will be exciting to see what it goes for at auction.

“This day and age, you never actually know,” he said.

“That’s pretty exciting, actually, especially since they just won the Super Bowl. If we had someone bring that into our shop, that’d be pretty amazing.”