Delta Air Lines Adds Another Professional Sports Team to Its Roster — This Time, It Is…

D elta Air Lines recently renewed its long-term partnerships with the New York Mets and the New York Yankees — which extended the sponsorships of the airline with both teams through the year 2023 — and Delta Air Lines also serves as the official airline of the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins; and Delta Air Lines also operates team charter flights for the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.

Delta Air Lines Adds Another Professional Sports Team to Its Roster — This Time, It Is…

A new sponsorship agreement with the Washington Nationals ensures that Delta Air Lines is the official airline and official private jet carrier for five years, according to this article written by Elizabeth Wolf for Delta News Hub, which is the official weblog of Delta Air Lines; and under that new agreement, the airline will fly the team to and from every game away from home. The signature presence of Delta Air Lines “at the park will also include sponsorship of the Delta Sky360 Club, a branded hospitality experience within Nationals Park and premium section of branded seating behind home plate; and permanent signage on the outfield wall, as well as home-plate, baseline rotational, out-of-town scoreboard and LED signage.”

There is a curious disclaimer at the end of the aforementioned article which states that “A previous version of this article incorrectly included some teams in the list of MLB clubs that Delta carries or sponsors.” That may be due to confusion as to the business relationships Delta Air Lines has with professional sports teams, which to me is understandable.

In fact, employees of Delta Air Lines can hardly keep track. Consider this example of a message which was “tweeted” from Delta Air Lines in clear support of the Seattle Seahawks, who played the Minnesota Vikings in one of the two wild card playoff games of the National Football Conference of the National Football League in the early afternoon of Sunday, January 10, 2016. Delta Air Lines not only operates hub airports which serve both the Seattle and Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan areas where the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings are respectively based; but is also the official airline of both the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings.

Oops.

A “tweet” was then released to minimize the controversy, stating that “We’re a house divided. Looking forward to a showdown on Sunday.”

I wrote in this article on Sunday, January 10, 2016 that Delta Air Lines is also the official airline in some fashion of the following professional sports teams and venues — and that was after doing research, which I may have to revise:

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Minnesota Twins
  • Detroit Tigers
  • New York Yankees
  • New York Mets
  • New York Knicks
  • New York Rangers
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • San Diego Padres
  • Saint Louis Rams
  • Saint Louis Cardinals
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Utah Jazz
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Seattle Sounders
  • Chelsea Football Club
  • Syracuse University Athletics
  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
  • Staples Center
  • Yankee Stadium
  • Citi Field
  • Madison Square Garden; as well as all of its entities

Summary

Sun Trust Park can be added to the list. The new home for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County is still under construction — which has been progressing significantly as part of a complex to eventually include hotels, shopping and other entities — and the logo of Delta Air Lines can already be seen inside the unfinished stadium from nearby roads and highways even though the stadium is not scheduled to open until next year.

As to what I alluded in this recent article, professional sports is big business which continues to get more and more expensive, as the minimum amount being paid to the New York Yankees alone for the contract extension is eight million dollars — although the undisclosed figure could be as much as $72 million dollars solely for that team…

…and yet taxpayers are still asked to foot the bill for the construction of new stadiums.

While there are some minor benefits to customers of both airlines and professional sports teams as a result of these deals worth multiple millions of dollars — such as a special parking lot at a stadium for members of a frequent flier loyalty program who have earned elite level status — they are few and far between, as these deals are significantly more geared towards the interests of the entities themselves in terms of revenues and profits rather than to the interests of customers.

Source: Delta Air Lines.

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