November 8, 2009: JetBlue Airways has signed an extensive deal with Sunrise Sports & Entertainment to become the official airline partner of the NHL's Florida Panthers and a "pillar partner" of the BankAtlantic Center, the airline's first venue sponsorship. Financial terms of the deal, which runs through 2011, were not revealed. Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the company that owns the Panthers and manages BankAtlantic Center.
JetBlue has been active on the sports sponsorship front over the past year and also has exclusive airline status with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and the Boston Marathon.
JetBlue's sponsorship includes joint marketing promotions and advertising. The company now has exclusive rights in the airline category to name, trademarks, uniform, logo in marketing, media and promotional initiative with the Panthers and BankAtlantic Center. Featured elements include JetBlue entitlement of main outdoor plaza and walkways and inner bowl, lobby and outer marquee signage; and a JetBlue Hispanic Concert Series. Support will include social media and interactive fan engagement activities, special JetBlue fares to away games and "TrueBlue" nights at the BankAtlantic Center. JetBlue has also committed to supporting the Florida Panthers Foundation and associated programs throughout the South Florida area.
The alliance ties in with JetBlue's Nov. 17th launch of local service to San Francisco, its 18th destination from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
"Fort Lauderdale is one of JetBlue's strongest cities and growing, so it makes perfect sense to pair up with one of the fastest growing franchises in South Florida," Marty St. George, svp-marketing and commercial strategy for JetBlue Airways, said during a press conference outside of BankAtlantic Center to launch the alliance. "We can now offer Panthers fans flights to all 18 nonstop destinations available; now they can follow their team on the road and never miss a game."
JetBlue joins Panthers marketing partners including Lexus, Harley-Davidson, Comcast, Geico, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Subway and Papa John's.
"We are both thrilled and honored to be able to partner with a respected, distinguished and natural business partner like JetBlue," Michael Yormark, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment president and COO, said during the unveiling press conference. "Over time, we have learned that our two companies share many of the same principles, such as innovative marketing, out of the box thinking, aggressive goals and objectives, and incomparable customer service."