By BEN KESLING
Delta Air Lines Inc.
sealed a sponsorship understanding with London’s Chelsea Football Club, apropos a initial U.S. airline to partner with a top-ranked English Premier League soccer team.
Soccer’s outrageous recognition in most of a universe and a fast-growing following in Asia have already done it a magnet for general carriers looking to lift their profile.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Didier Drogba, left, assisting to lead Chelsea to feat in a Champion’s League final final month in Munich.
Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi and Dubai-based Emirates Airline already have sponsorship deals with some of Europe’s biggest veteran clubs.
U.S. airlines have long-established links with American sports, shopping adult stadium-naming rights in business centers such as New York and Los Angeles. But while AMR Corp.’s American Airlines has been a central trans-Atlantic airline partner of a Premier League’s lower-ranked Fulham FC given 2006, they have had tiny participation in soccer.
“Airline promotion [in bar soccer] is an area that’s growing,” pronounced Simon Rines, editorial executive during International Marketing Reports Ltd., a sponsorship research firm. “It’s driven by a Middle Eastern carriers, and we think it will be driven by rising airlines in Asia.”
Delta’s two-year understanding with Chelsea, a newly crowned European bar champions, is a comparatively tiny step compared with a deals sealed by a rivals in a Middle East and Asia.
Etihad sponsors a shirts of Manchester City FC, this year’s English Premier League champions, while Emirates switched a selling devotion to Arsenal FC from Chelsea, and also bought a fixing rights to a north London club’s new stadium.
Tony Fernandez, owners of Malaysia’s AirAsia, final year bought control of Queens Park Rangers FC, another London club.
Emirates has used sports sponsorships to fuel a assertive selling plans, and already has deals with 6 soccer clubs in Europe. As partial of a U.S. strategy, it is deliberation skeleton to publicize during subsequent year’s Super Bowl broadcast.
The pricey TV spots would follow a settlement of advancing a code that Emirates has successfully employed in Europe and Asia, subsidy all from soccer-club jerseys to polo tournaments.
“The motive for Emirates was they wanted to grow their branding utterly quickly,” Mr. Rimes said. “They were personification catch-up and now they’ve clearly held up.”
Chelsea’s shirts will continue to be sponsored by Samsung Electronics Co.,
with Delta apropos “official airline sponsor,” a understanding that will put a trademark on arrangement during a Stamford Bridge track and during bar events. The group is now examining skeleton for a new stadium.
“It strengthens a code in a U.K. and around a world,” pronounced Katie Hulme, a Delta spokeswoman. “There was an event to work with Chelsea, and we’ve taken it.”
As distant as an initial pull into European soccer, Delta is assured in a choice. Chelsea is hugely renouned in London, a vital Delta destination, and a group will be personification 4 muster matches this summer in a U.S., formulating evident overlie between domestic and general exposure.
Although a terms of Delta’s understanding weren’t disclosed, analysts concluded that it substantially didn’t engage a vital cost of promotion supports and a approach for Delta to get a name in front of soccer-loving European and Asian consumers for a carrier.
“The airlines have been really prudent in spending their money, given they don’t have a lot of income to spend.” pronounced Helene Becker, researcher during Dahlman Rose Co. “But they can’t means not to be compared with world-wide sport.”
An progressing chronicle of this essay wrongly reported that Delta Air Lines’ sponsorship understanding with London’s Chelsea Football Club done it a initial U.S. conduit to try into a universe of European bar soccer. AMR Corp.’s American Airlines has been a central trans-Atlantic airline partner of a English Premier League’s Fulham Football Club given 2006. Also, Chelsea’s home track is Stamford Bridge. An progressing chronicle of this essay wrongly called it Stanford Bridge.
A chronicle of this essay seemed Jun 26, 2012, on page B7 in a U.S. book of The Wall Street Journal, with a headline: Delta to Sponsor London Soccer Club.