Travis Kelce’s Publicist: a Social Media Snafu


Travis Kelce, the tight end superstar for the Kansas City Chiefs, is known for his athletic prowess and charismatic personality. But in 2022, his publicist, Pia Malihi, became the center of unwanted attention thanks to a controversial social media post. This article delves into the world of celebrity public relations, exploring the incident, Malihi’s career, and the aftermath.

Travis Kelce

Who is Pia Malihi?

Prior to the social media gaffe, Pia Malihi operated largely behind the scenes, managing the public image of various celebrities. Information about her background is limited, but according to her former PR firm [based on web searches], she boasts a career that began in her early twenties. Her experience includes working with prestigious clients like Coach, House of Bijan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Scooter Braun, and Justin Baldoni.

Malihi reportedly possesses a strong work ethic and a keen understanding of the entertainment industry. However, it was a single Instagram story that thrust her into the spotlight, forever altering her association with Travis Kelce.

The Infamous Instagram Post and the “Clown Gate” Debacle

In October 2022, amidst dating rumors between Kelce and pop icon Taylor Swift, Malihi shared a series of images on her Instagram story. One particular image featured Swift, with a clown emoji strategically placed over her face. This seemingly innocuous act sparked outrage from Swift’s devoted fanbase, known as “Swifties.”

Many interpreted the emoji as a deliberate diss towards the singer. The timing, coinciding with their rumored relationship, further fueled speculation. The incident, dubbed “Clown Gate” by online commentators, became a major news story, with publications like The Times of India and sports websites reporting on the controversy.

Adding fuel to the fire was Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who publicly criticized Malihi’s judgment and suggested Kelce might need a new publicist. The negative publicity cast a shadow over Kelce’s image and created unnecessary tension for the couple, if they were indeed dating.

The Aftermath: Did Kelce Fire His Publicist?

The question that lingered on everyone’s mind was: Did Kelce fire his publicist? According to celebrity gossip source DeuxMoi, there were no plans for such a drastic move. While the exact details of their conversation remain private, it appears Kelce stood by Malihi.

This decision could be interpreted in a few ways. Perhaps Kelce understood the post was unintentional, or maybe he valued Malihi’s experience and overall track record. Regardless of the reason, keeping Malihi on board signaled his faith in her abilities.

The Importance of a Publicist in the Age of Social Media

The “Clown Gate” incident highlights the crucial role of a publicist in today’s social media-driven world. Celebrities, with their massive online followings, are constantly under scrutiny. A single, poorly conceived post can lead to a PR nightmare, damaging their reputation and brand.

A skilled publicist acts as a shield, filtering information and crafting a positive public image. They advise on social media strategy, ensuring posts are well-thought-out and avoid unnecessary controversy. In Malihi’s case, the incident served as a stark reminder of the fine line between harmless fun and a damaging social media blunder.

Lessons Learned: The Impact on Both Parties

The “Clown Gate” saga undoubtedly had a significant impact on both Kelce and Malihi. For Kelce, it likely served as a wake-up call regarding the power of social media and the importance of having a team that understands its nuances.

For Malihi, the experience may have been a humbling one. It underscored the need for extreme caution when managing a celebrity’s social media presence, especially when it comes to their personal lives.

The incident also sparked discussions about the fierce loyalty of celebrity fandoms and the intense scrutiny faced by public figures in the digital age.

Beyond the Controversy: Where are They Now?

As of today, May 28, 2024, there haven’t been any further public controversies surrounding Malihi or her work with Kelce. Whether Kelce and Swift ever officially confirmed or denied their relationship remains unknown.

However, Kelce continues to be a star player for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Malihi presumably remains his publicist, likely with a renewed appreciation for the power and pitfalls of social media.

While “Clown Gate” may be a permanent footnote in their careers, it also serves as a valuable lesson in the ever-evolving world of celebrity public relations and the delicate dance between online presence and maintaining a positive public image.


Who is Travis Kelce’s publicist?

Travis Kelce’s publicist is Pia Malihi. She runs her own PR firm and has experience working with celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

What happened with Travis Kelce’s publicist and Taylor Swift?

In a now-deleted Instagram story, Malihi reposted a photo featuring Kelce’s then-girlfriend, Taylor Swift, with a clown emoji covering her face. This sparked outrage from Swift’s fans and criticism from media outlets.

Did Travis Kelce fire his publicist?

There were reports that Kelce might fire Malihi, but according to celebrity gossip sources, he decided to keep her on.

Why did the social media post cause a stir?

Many fans interpreted the clown emoji as disrespectful towards Taylor Swift. It also reflected poorly on Kelce’s public image.

Was the post about Taylor Swift intentional?

Malihi claimed it was unintentional, but the explanation didn’t convince everyone.

Is Pia Malihi still a publicist?

Yes, Pia Malihi continues to run her PR firm and likely represents other clients.

Has this incident affected Travis Kelce’s career?

The incident doesn’t seem to have had a major impact on Kelce’s football career.

Does Travis Kelce still date Taylor Swift?

It’s unclear if Kelce and Swift are still together. Celebrities often keep their dating lives private.

What can we learn from this situation?

The importance of careful social media management, especially for those representing public figures, is a key takeaway.

Where can I find more information?

Searching online for “Travis Kelce publicist” or “Pia Malihi” will provide news articles and discussions about the situation.

To read more, Click here

About the author


Add Comment

Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act Please contact: with the subject DMCA Request.