I have been a B2B journalist for more than 15 years, writing about car care, retail, and other assorted businesses for the majority of my career. As a business editor and writer, I very rarely have the opportunity to report on the people, places, and events trending in the mainstream media.
My work is focused on those helping drive car care forward, not the pop culture elite that grab headlines and tabloid back pages. Now, I have no interest in covering that world, but this month, I was a couple of degrees from one of the biggest pop culture trends dominating the news stream.
Unless you are observing some sort of media blackout, you have probably seen at least in passing that Taylor Swift may or may not be dating one of the biggest names in the NFL. Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelsey has been linked to the music icon, with Taylor attending several of his games this year and been flashed on the TV cheering from his private box whenever possible.
Superbowl champion Kelsey has a minority stake in Club Carwash, the subject of this month’s Profile in Success (page 54). He invested in the growing express wash in 2020 just as the Midwest-based mega chain embarked on a massive expansion that brought it from around 30 washes to nearly 140.
“After learning about the trajectory of the industry and knowing my partners have significant knowledge and experience in the space, I thought Club Carwash was a fantastic opportunity, and I’m excited to be onboard,” Kelce said back in 2020 when he joined Club.
While Kelce is far removed from the day-to-day operations of the wash, his influence can be felt at the brand. His celebrity helps promote the wash and adds a level of cool to the rapidly expanding car wash mega-chain.
“We have a really great partnership with him,” Club Carwash’s director of marketing Kendell Palmquist told me when I spoke to her for this month’s Profile. “We typically meet once or twice a year. He is very helpful when it comes to shooting promotional content. We partner with him and his Eighty-Seven & Running charity. Charity is a critical piece of our organization, and we like to help them as much as possible.”
Kelsey and his potential relationship with Swift has nothing to do with car washing, and I know nothing more about him, her, or his car wash investment beyond what I am writing here. But as I was sitting on my couch on Sunday, watching the Chiefs beat the Chargers for their sixth-straight win and seeing ample coverage of Taylor’s attendance at the game, I thought Kelce’s minority stake in Club might be of interest to our readers.