First US airline to sign sponsorship with Premier League team
Delta Air Lines has become the first US carrier to sign a sponsorship deal with a high-ranking English Premier League soccer team. London’s Chelsea Football Club, owned since 2003 by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is the airline’s new partner. Delta follows Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline in similar deals with Europe’s biggest clubs. Football’s popularity worldwide is increasing more and more, especially with a fast-growing following in Asia.
US airlines have longstanding partnerships with American sports, but until now they have shown little interest in Europe’s favourite sport.
“It’s driven by the Middle Eastern carriers, and I suspect it will be driven by emerging airlines in Asia,” commented Simon Rines, editorial director at the sponsorship analysis company International Marketing Reports Ltd.
Earlier this year, Chelsea became the first London club to win the UEFA Champions League. However, Delta’s deal lasts only two years, for now.
The Wall Street Journal
[photo by inkiboo]