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Volume 26 No. 139
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LA28, NBC Land Delta As New Sponsor In $400M Deal

Delta Airlines has signed a $400M combo sponsorship deal with the organizers of the '28 L.A. Games and NBCUniversal, ensuring it will play a key role in the first American Games since '02 and knocking out longtime Olympics incumbent United. Delta becomes the official airline of Team USA and the '28 Games from '21-28 and also gets extensive ad time on NBCUniversal platforms, with fees split evenly between the two. This is the first deal finalized under the joint sales strategy announced last April by NBCUniversal and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties, the sales arm of the Games. Delta is represented by Octagon for sports marketing.

Delta has been the No. 2 airline at LAX since '16, behind American, which recently inked a founding sponsorship of SoFi Stadium. Delta will replace United Airlines, which has been a domestic sponsor of the USOPC since '80 and will continue to hold the category through this summer’s Tokyo Games (though Delta was a sponsor of the '96 Atlanta and '02 Salt Lake City Games as well). United had an exclusive negotiating window to extend its rights beyond this year, when all incumbent deals with USOPC expire, but it is not known if United made a serious effort to keep the rights. Last year, United won naming rights to the playing field at the LA Memorial Coliseum. Both the Coliseum and SoFi Stadium are key venues for LA28, but their sponsor marks must be covered up during the Olympics under IOC rules. The new jumbo packages that include LA28 are more than 10 times the price of USOPC sponsorships without a domestic Games.

A media event is planned for L.A.’s Griffith Observatory on Monday with Delta CEO Ed Bastian and other VIPs. It will be the first sponsor officially confirmed by LA28, though Nike has already committed to a mega-deal extending its rights at least through '28.