When Travis and Jason Kelce started the New Heights podcast in September 2022, they probably had no idea how big the show would become.
As the podcast’s name suggests, the Kelce Brothers’ weekly talk show achieved incredible success and became the largest sports podcast in the world in less than two years. But like anyone trying a new venture, the Kelces weren’t always as comfortable on the microphone as they are today.
The New Heights pilot seemed shamelessly like the trial and error process that it was. the first episode – which currently has just over 340,000 views on YouTube – was a stutter-filled and harrowing experience. To open up what would be a glue for their brotherhood and their respective fan bases, the Kelces followed a 12-question format to structure their conversation.
The rest, as they say, was history.
“Welcome to New Heights,” Travis said as he opened the first show, smiling in his Cincinnati Bearcats baseball jersey as he rubbed his palms together. “An Original Jukes Show Presented by Wave Sports and Entertainment”.
Jason Kelce shouted into the microphone as Travis stumbled over his words in the New Heights pilot.
Jason raised his voice several times while talking about football and farming with Travis.
Travis gave a shaky introduction to the show in its first episode in September 2022.
At the time, both Kelces had won a Super Bowl and were no strangers to the bright lights. But the NFL’s microphones and cameras shined differently than those of his last adventure. While Travis seemed to hold back his laughter, Jason seemed stoic as he nodded during his younger brother’s introduction.
After putting his football accolades on the table, Travis haltingly explained the premise of the show.
“New Heights is our new talk show, where we’ll give you access to the next level in the NFL,” Travis stuttered. “From Philadelphia to Kansas City.”
“We’ve talked about this for some time,” Jason said. “So to finally be able to start this, I’m excited.”
The Eagles star explained how they and the producers agreed to ask 12 questions to honor their combined 12 Pro Bowl selections. As Jason tried to start the Q&A session, Travis interrupted him to break down the title.
Travis explained that ‘New Heights’ had two meanings.
‘Obviously, my brother and I are venturing into a new world, a new playing field, which is on the microphone and the camera. Showing our personality, showing our dynamic and we thought it would be fun to show it to you guys,” Travis said.
‘Also, we are very proud of where we come from. From Cleveland Heights, Ohio,” Travis continued. “We actually have some ties with Jukes and Wave Sports, both across the industry and in Cleveland.”
“Any time we represent the Heights, it’s always something we try to do,” Jason added.
Nearly two years later, New Heights is the top sports podcast on the Spotify and Apple charts.
The podcast became an outlet for the Kelce brothers to give a weekly breakdown of the NFL.
Travis has won two more Super Bowls since they started doing the podcast weekly.
The conversation took several different turns as his answers ventured beyond the world of football. When asked about the highlight of his offseason, Jason shared that in addition to his daughter Eliotte learning to talk, he also castrated a bull on a trip to Missouri.
“You have to mark and also castrate the ones that don’t stay like bulls,” Jason said. “So I had to castrate my first bull; it was difficult.”
“I had my crunchy granola hiking boots on while I was knuckle-deep in this bull’s ass.”
The brothers raised the decibels, smiles on their faces, while Travis chose not to let Jason explain the castration methods.
“You asked me what I did this offseason,” Jason exclaimed, his face red. “This was the highlight of my offseason.”
The shouting resumed when Jason described the moment he first played against Ray Lewis. He admitted to his curiosity about what it would feel like to play against people he idolized before entering the league.
“In the middle of the play,” he shouted as Travis laughed on the other half of the screen. “Not only am I doing my homework, but I’m also saying, ‘Shit, I’m blocking Ray Lewis.'”
Like much of the episode, at the end the brothers talked about the NFL while talking about their upcoming seasons. Jalen Hurts and Andy Reid were mentioned in the hour-long conversation before comparing Super Bowl rings in the final segment.
New Heights’ following grew after Travis began dating Grammy-winning singer Taylor Swift.
Travis first discussed his interest in Swift on an episode of New Heights in the summer of 2023.
Jason stated that doing the podcast every week brought him and Travis closer like brothers.
A year later, the podcast grew when Travis began dating pop star Taylor Swift. In an episode over the summer, the three-time Super Bowl winner admitted that he didn’t give Swift a friendship bracelet with her phone number on it.
However, the couple began dating in September 2023 and dominated NFL headlines.
The relationship added another layer to their conversations as they continued to provide their weekly breakdown of all things NFL. The podcast became something fans looked forward to every Wednesday, especially in light of Travis’ most recent Super Bowl win with the Chiefs.
New Heights is now No. 1 on Spotify and Apple’s sports podcast charts. More importantly, Jason said the weekly talk show has brought him and his brother closer.
Jason admitted that before starting the program, he and Travis hadn’t connected that much since college.
“It’s been fun doing it another year, talking to my brother,” Kelce said. “I haven’t been that connected to Travis in the last two years, since college.”
‘And that’s been one of the best things, probably the best, about the podcast. It forces us: since we are brothers, before we spent months alone without speaking to each other. We texted him, we sent him a funny video, but [to] Really sit down and talk to him, it would be a long time.