The Seahawks and Sounders FC found a way to win again on Tuesday, without ever taking the field.
Both franchises entered into a lucrative partnership with Delta Air Lines, which is sponsoring the club level at CenturyLink Field – now known as the Delta Sky360 Club. The affiliation took flight during a ceremony at the state-of-the-art stadium where both teams play their home games.
Delta already was the official airline of the Seahawks, who use the airline’s charter flights for road games. The stadium partnership only strengths that connection.
“It is the logical progression from a charter relationship,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “We look for opportunities to align ourselves to great organizations, winning organizations. And certainly the Seahawks and Sounders are just that.”
The Seahawks share the NFC West lead after winning their season opener against the Panthers in Carolina on Sunday, while Sounders FC sit second in the MLS standings with 46 points and can take over first place in the West with a victory over conference-leading Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on Friday night.
“Not only that, they’re a great bunch of people – professionals with great integrity,” Medeiros said. “We like to think that they hold the same values that Delta has. So we try to align ourselves with organizations that have values like Delta, and the Seahawks and Sounders certainly do.”
Delta flies more than 20 NFL teams, Medeiros said, but its only stadium sponsorship is with the Seahawks.
“So we’re really, really proud of being at CenturyLink and being teamed up with the Sounders and Seahawks,” said Medeiros, who calls Seattle home. “I’ve got a lot of pride. I’ve got goose bumps right now being a part of this event.
“It’s really exciting to advance the relationship.”
It was like Medeiros took those words right from the mouth of Seahawks and Sounders FC president Peter McLoughlin.
“We like people that we do business with to do business with us,” McLoughlin said. “The airline category is not a big spending category with sports teams. So for us to forge a deal with Delta for a significant amount of money on a multiyear basis that coincides with the charter deal with the Seahawks says a lot of Delta’s willingness to recognize the direction we’re going in.”
And that would be up.
While the Seahawks and Sounders FC will generate more revenue from this partnership, Delta will increase its name recognition as it moves toward making Seattle a hub and expands its flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. In addition to the signage at the stadium, the Delta-sponsored club level will feature themed bar areas and specialty food and beverage stands offering freshly prepared food selections.
No wonder Medeiros and McLoughlin were viewing this as a win-win deal.
“It’s really important to us,” McLoughlin said. “As we look at our business, we realize we have opportunity to grow revenue which will allow us to invest back into the team and invest into the stadium infrastructure to create a better fan experience.
“So having a company like Delta step up and help us achieve those goals is just fantastic.”