Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Travis Kelce’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ at Super Bowl Made Song Owners Lots of Cash

Travis Kelce’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ at Super Bowl Made Song Owners Lots of Cash

Travis Kelce sure does love to sing and when he warbled out Viva Las Vegas at Super Bowl LVIII, the song owners were watching. Music fans know that the song originally was sung by Elvis Presley for the movie of the same name. Every time Viva Las Vegas pops up in certain settings, Will Bratton smiles. He oversees Pomus Songs Inc., which handles songs written by the late Doc Pomus. He and Mort Shuman came up with the song’s lyrics.

“We were very excited about him doing that,” Bratton said. “Royalties are paid for that performance.” Looking at Travis Kelce’s version, it’s being called “ephemeral use” by Rachel Jacobson, who works for Warner Chappell Music, which happens to administer recordings by Pomus. Jacobson oversees the film and TV shows for WCM.

What constitutes a public performance? Any snippet coming from some group like a marching band. If it’s heard on a broadcast, then there’s a royalty payment from BMI for that public performance. Jacobson said, “Anything beyond that, then you come and clear it.”

Travis Kelce Effort Results In Royalty Payment

How much will Pomus Songs get from Travis Kelce’s performance? “BMI’s generally three-quarters behind, so we won’t have that data until probably next December,” Bratton said. Expect the song revenue to keep on coming, though. Even late-night talk shows have to pay a “previewing synch license.” Why? Well, they use it and a negotiated fee is paid, Billboard reports.

Jacobson, though, isn’t aware of any requests for such a license for Travis Kelce’s version of Viva Las Vegas. Bratton said that, for Super Bowl LVIII, the song “also licensed to CBS Sports for a pre-game show and it was shown once during the game over a viewing of Taylor Swift. That paid — I don’t want to say how much, but it was good money.”

Bratton said that Pomus was a “sports fanatic.” “He would have been thrilled that his song was used like that,” Bratton said of Travis Kelce’s version. “It was more of a holler than a sing. It was his enthusiasm that was notable. We just like it to make money.”

Doc Pomus Helped Write Elvis Movie Song

Pomus was a Hall of Fame songwriter responsible for songs like Presley’s Little Sister, The Coasters’ Young Blood, and The DriftersThis Magic Moment and Save the Last Dance for Me. Bratton is married to Sharyn Felder, the daughter of Pomus.

In case you didn’t see it, Travis Kelce croaked out his song while celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz was there interviewing players. He also was present for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell giving the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Chiefs team owner Clark Hunt.

Over the years, other musicians like Bruce Springsteen have done their versions of Viva Las Vegas. When they do, wherever the royalty falls in categories, BMI sends royalty payments to Pomus Songs. As long as the song is alive, which will be forever, those cash deliveries will be made.

Bratton will not complain one bit, either.