SBD/Issue 222/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

AirTran Signs Falcons QB Matt Ryan To Replace Suspended Vick

AirTran Signs Ryan To Two-Year 
Endorsement Deal

AirTran VP/Marketing & Sales Tad Hutcheson said that Falcons rookie QB Matt Ryan has "signed a two-year contract with AirTran to essentially succeed" suspended Falcons QB Michael Vick in the company's endorsement lineup, according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Ryan will be featured in AirTran advertising --"primarily billboards and radio commercials in the Atlanta market -- beginning next week." Vick "had an endorsement deal with AirTran from 2003 until May 2007, when his contract expired and was not renewed." Hutcheson said of signing Ryan, "We wanted someone who had high character and was family-friendly and someone who was going to be an up-and-coming star for the ballclub." Hutcheson said that 11 AirTran billboards featuring Falcons players "will go up in Atlanta by next week," and he added that Ryan will be "on at least four of them." Hutcheson also said that Ryan has "recorded radio spots that will begin airing next week" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/7). The following lists all of AirTran's current athlete endorsers.

Falcons LB Keith Brooking
Packers WR Donald Driver
Falcons WR Brian Finneran
Ravens TE Todd Heap
Thrashers LW Ilya Kovalchuck
Thrashers G Kari Lehtonen
Colts QB Peyton Manning
Eagles QB Donovan McNabb
IRL driver Danica Patrick
Falcons QB Matt Ryan
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