Madison Square Garden and Delta Air Lines have signed a multi-year agreement that makes Delta Official Airline of Madison Square Garden and the first "Signature Partner." MSG says it developed the Signature Partner program to create multiplatform, multi-property marketing deals with complementary brands.
In addition to a custom-branded presence in the recently renovated Garden, Delta also gets brand presence across all MSG properties, including venues, professional sports teams, television networks and a collection of Web sites.
Scott O'Neil, president of MSG Sports, tells Marketing Daily that Delta and MSG see eye to eye.
"We have a new state-of-the-art presentation center that walks people through what the new Garden will look like. We invited people from Delta up. From the first time we were with them, we seemed to connect. We were talking the same language. As an Atlanta-based company creating a New York hub, they wanted to stake a claim by becoming involved in the fabric of New York life. From our end, we saw a phenomenal business that, even during an economic downturn, was making bold moves in New York."
O'Neil says that Delta will show MSG Channel on its planes. And Delta will advertise on MSG platforms, including regional sports networks. "We have been fortunate in that we have a nice stable of top-tier sponsors like AmEx, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser-Busch. What's different about this is that it is the first time we have a signature partner for the renovated Garden," he says.
For instance, the deal also makes Delta a sponsor of the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, and an official partner of College Basketball and the Concert Series at MSG. It also gives Delta a branded space at MSG-owned Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the WaMu Theater at MSG and the Beacon Theatre in New York City, as well as The Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre in Boston. At MSG's flagship property, Delta will have a themed club that offers a view of players as they walk onto the court/ice, specialized menus, and amenities.
Delta will also have a presence on MSG network and across the Garden's collection of Web sites, blogs and social networks.
Delta and MSG will tout the relationship with a promotion dangling prime seats at Madison Square Garden venues and on Delta flights. Brand ambassadors will be around New York City and at Delta's local terminals through Oct. 24, handing out scratch-and-win boarding passes. MSG will talk up the promotion on MSG.com/delta.
Delta says the deal is a capstone for several programs to make Delta New York's preferred carrier. Delta recently made plans to make LaGuardia airport a domestic hub and added over 30 new international routes at JFK. The Atlanta-based carrier also became the Official Airline of New York Baseball this year, sponsoring the New York Mets and the New York Yankees and creating "Delta Sky360" venues at both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium.
Other top-drawer sponsorships for Delta are the New York City Wine & Food Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and non-profit Food Bank for New York City and New Yorkers for Children, established to supplement the foster care system through college scholarships, tutoring programs, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
MSG says it hosts more than 800 events per year, with its four New York venues accounting for 84% of all concert tickets sold in the New York metropolitan area each year. MSG Media comprises MSG and MSG Plus networks, and MSG's collection of Web sites, social networks and blogs.