By Ian McMurtry
Delta Kicks Off Multi-Year Alliance With Team USA
Call it an ‘opening ceremony’ of sorts for the start of a long-term deal. Delta officially launched its replacement role at the “Official Airline of Team USA” as the Atlanta-based airline begins its role with the multi-sport committee. Team USA was previously flown by United, who vacated the role with its final Olympics haul coming after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this previous summer.
Delta was quick to promote the role with Team USA, unveiling an Airbus A330-900neo with the nation’s colors across the fuselage. Well over 600 Delta team members took part in the welcome event for the deal.
The event was met with higher-ups from both sides of the agreement, with Delta CEO Ed Bastian and Team USA Olympians, Paralympians and future stars were on hand. Six Team USA members attended, being short track speed skater Maame Biney, figure staking member Amber Glenn, Alpine skier Breezy Johnson, Para-Nordic Skier Dan Cnossen, Men’s Sled Hockey member Jen Lee and Para-Nordic Skier Oksana Masters. These six will also take over the role of Delta team ambassadors for the next Olympic games.
“I’m very proud to partner with Delta on the road to the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Its support is invaluable, especially as I approach my third Paralympic Games, and it is very exciting to see how they will celebrate Team USA through the new livery design. Delta is all about helping people’s dreams take flight, whether you’re an Olympic or Paralympic athlete or an everyday traveler. This plane is one of many ways Delta will bring the Olympic and Paralympic spirit to life in the air and on the ground—and as an athlete, I’m honored to be a part of this journey.” noted a new spokesman Cnossen.
The airline also says that Team USA’s vision further aligns with the airline. Delta’s No One Better Connects the World is something the airline hopes will continue to inspire the world as they now work with Team USA to spread the global message.
Delta’s Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Tim Mapes, noted the new deal saying, “Delta and Team USA share a deep belief that connecting the world makes us all better. This one-of-a-kind livery celebrates our partnership, which has been built on shared values and the inspiring athletes of Team USA, whose indomitable spirit lies at the heart of both our ‘Keep Climbing’ message and the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.”
Delta has a history with Team USA. The airline had previously run as the official airline to promote the 1996 Summer Olympiad in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Olympiad in Salt Lake City. The airline made special liveries on a Boeing 757-200, Bombardier CRJ-200 and Boeing 777-200LR to promote the latter’s snow-centered games.
Delta will now take over for the winter Olympics in Beijing and Milano Cortina in 2022 and 2026 as well as the summer games in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028. The airline will begin charter work this winter when Team USA flies to Beijing for the 2022 winter games with a flight between Los Angeles and Beijing.