February 28, 2011: In a deal that was almost 80 years in the making, Delta Air Lines and the St. Louis Cardinals have joined in a partnership that makes Delta the team's official airline.
The one-year partnership also includes an agreement that names Delta as the Cardinals' exclusive charter airline under which Delta will fly the team and staff on all road games during the 2011 MLB season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This the second deal between Delta and a St. Louis team in the past three months. In December, Delta signed a deal with the NFL's St. Louis Rams this past December in which it replaced American Airlines as the team's official carrier.
Delta's history in St. Louis dates back to 1934, when Chicago & Southern Air Lines began flights at Lambert Field. Delta merged with C&S in 1953, continuing to serve St. Louis without interruption, according to the carrier.
Atlanta-based Delta has been flying a number of new sports alliances in 2011. In January, the carrier signed a deal that will see it become the official airline of the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, beginning with the 2011-12 season.
Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines and AEG unveiled a new multiyear, multi-platform partnership that makes Delta an official founding partner and the official airline of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as well as the official airline of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings team. As part of that pact, the airline also become an official partner of the Grammy Museum at LA Live, which is an added element to its multi-year sponsorship of the Grammy Awards.
As the official airline of the St. Louis Cardinals, Delta will be featured on signs and scoreboards at Busch Stadium during Cardinals' home games, and will highlight its partnership with the team and fans on "Delta Day," during the game on June 23 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"This new partnership demonstrates Delta's ongoing commitment to St. Louis as we continue to invest in the market."
"As an airline whose service in St. Louis dates to 1934, we're honored to be partnering with the St. Louis Cardinals, a team with one of the richest histories in baseball," Hank Halter, Delta's svp and CFO, said in a statement. "This new partnership demonstrates Delta's ongoing commitment to St. Louis as we continue to invest in the market."
Among its sports sponsorships, Delta's portfolio includes partnerships with Madison Square Garden and its tenants, the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and WNBA's New York Liberty; Yankee Stadium and the New York Yankees, Citi Field and the New York Mets; the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins and Memphis Grizzlies.