AirTran Keeps Soaring With Sports Sponsorships, Marketing Deals

AirTran's rendition of The AirTran Airways Flight Deck planned for Amway Arena in 2010.October 1, 2009: AirTran Airways continues to be the low-fare airline that is keeping pace with the bigger fliers in the category of sports marketing. The airline has signed a multi-year deal with the NBA's Orlando Magic to become the official airline of the team as well as the exclusive airline advertising partner of the team's current venue, Amway Arena, and the Magic's new home arena, Amway Center, which is scheduled to open for the 2010-11 NBA season. Financial details were not disclosed.

AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, is headquartered in Orlando but has its largest hub at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The Magic joins a roster of AirTran marketing partners that includes the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts, as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; the NHL's Boston Bruins; and MLB's Milwaukee Brewers. AirTran also has marketing deals with such athletes as Danica Patrick, teen tennis star Melanie Oudin, former baseball all-star pitcher Tom Glavine and NFL quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Donovan McNabb.

AirTran's new deal replaces JetBlue as the airline marketing partner of the Magic. The company will be designated as "Champions of the Community" in the new Amway Arena, where in addition to signage and other activation the carrier will have branded integrated space, The AirTran Airways Flight Deck, located in the inner bowl of the arena viewable by all fans.

However, despite the designation as the team's official airline, Orlando players will continue to fly on Northwest Airlines charter flights during the season as part of a multi-year deal signed with the NBA that covers most of the league's teams.

"We are excited to have AirTran Airways, a local Orlando-based company, join the Magic family as a Champions of Community partner," Alex Martins, COO for the Orlando Magic, said in a statement. "AirTran Airways represents the quality and excellence we look for in developing partnerships. We believe this relationship will be mutually beneficial and will provide AirTran Airways a unique opportunity to deliver a direct, positive message to our fan-base and beyond."

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