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Volume 26 No. 109
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MiLB, Allegiant Air Optimistic About Reaching Long-Term Deal

A partnership between MiLB and Allegiant Air was in focus on Day 1 of the Octagon Sports Marketing Symposium. A deal signed between the two sides last year covers over 120 markets and seeks to improve local communities, the fan experience games and ballpark tech. An interesting part of the deal is the unlikely place where it came about -- Daytona Int’l Speedway. “It was a relationship with Tad Geschickter, a NASCAR owner, who introduced me to Maury Gallagher, the chairman and CEO of Allegiant,” said MiLB Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer David Wright. “That introduction at, of all places, the Daytona 500 in a Winnebago, and I think it was very clear to both of us that there was something here. We just had to figure it out, and we set out to do so. I gotta tell ya, it’s the first time I’ve ever been in a Winnebago doing deals.” The deal originally came together as MiLB was seeking an airline partner. “For us, airline was a category. After doing a lot of research, we got 160 markets and there’s a couple brands that bubble up once you run the analytics,” Wright said. “Allegiant just happened to be one of them, and it’s just been a phenomenal start to what we hope will be a long-term deal.”

SMALL BALL: Allegiant CMO Scott DeAngelo wasn’t part of the company when talks with MiLB began. But when he assumed his current role, DeAngelo immediately jumped into the middle of talks and helped take the deal to the finish line. “We’re in a little over 120 markets. And for those that know Allegiant, we fly out of very small, small and mid-size markets,” DeAngelo said. “So if you think about, who better in the markets that we serve than Minor League Baseball? They were in the right place.” The affordable aspect of flying Allegiant combined with the affordability of going to an MiLB game made the partnership a perfect match, according to DeAngelo. “We pride ourselves as the hometown airline for many of these markets that these other airlines have either never been to or orphaned,” DeAngelo said.