SBD/Issue 128/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Cleared For Take-Off: American Airlines Agrees To Deal With MLS

American Airlines has signed a multi-year, seven-figure deal with MLS, the airline's "first [deal] with any sports league," according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The agreement also marks MLS' first deal with an airline. American will have the national rights to MLS and the new Superliga tournament, including "intellectual property rights, field-board signage, and print and online advertising." The airline plans to support the deal with TV, online and in-stadium advertising. Weber-Shandwick, Zubi, Momentum and McCann-Erickson's TM all worked together on creating the airline's campaign for the '08 season. Opportunities also exist for American to "promote MLS in what amounts to a promotional swap by showcasing league content in the airline's in-flight magazines and videos." American joins a "growing list of companies, including Anheuser-Busch and NAPA, to affiliate itself" with both MLS and Superliga "in order to reach Hispanic consumers" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/24 issue).

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