Anthony GharibESPN3 Minute Read
The Kelce brothers became a big source of inspiration this year for new dog owners.
According to a recent report by pet sitting website Rover, Kelce is the top trending dog name in America, enjoying an increase of 135%. Rover said the Kelce brothers are likely an inspiration for the uptick.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce won his second Super Bowl in February. Kelce’s social media following increased drastically after Taylor Swift attended the Chiefs Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears.
Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce played against his brother in the Super Bowl and released a documentary about his career in September. He was also a finalist for People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” list, while the younger Kelce topped People’s “Sexiest Men in Sports” list.
NBA stars Nikola Jokic and Trae Young were among the top trending dog names too. Trae was up 222% and Nikola rose by 147%. Celtic grew by 364%, possibly after the Boston Celtics. Wemby joined the list, inspired by San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama.
The surnames of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (109%) and Bears quarterback Justin Fields (97%) also increased.
Months after its 2023 World Cup run, players from the U.S. Women’s National Team were among the top trending dog names.
Dunn, after defender Crystal Dunn, is up 147%, while Megan, after forward Megan Rapinoe, is up 33%. Rapinoe’s last name and her wife, Sue Bird, were also new to the list — Bird retired from the WNBA’s Seattle Storm in 2022.
The WNBA had multiple inclusions on the list.
Stewie is trending up 81%, inspired by New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart. Storm guard Jewell Loyd got some love as dogs named Jewell increased by 64%.
Inspired by Phoenix Mercury forward Brittney Griner, there was a 47% increase in Brittney and Griner also became a new entry on the list. Chelsea and Gray were up 14% each after Las Vegas Aces guard Chelsea Gray.
Cats also saw an uptick in sports-adjacent names. Avalanche (426%), after the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, and Gronk (218%), after retired tight end Rob Gronkowski, were among the top sports-inspired cat names in 2023. Lambeau, after the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field, increased by 213%. Names drawn from Kyrie Irving, Lamar Jackson and Marcell Ozuna were in a three way tie at a 193% increase.
There were also pet name trends influenced by notable sports figures in certain regions. In Atlanta, Bijan, after Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson, is on an upward trajectory, alongside other Atlanta-based athletes, Young and Ozuna.
In Birmingham, Alabama, Saban is up 126%, after Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban. The first name of former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is trending 16% and as a reference to Alabama’s “Roll Tide” slogan, Tide is up 64%.