Major sport teams and sporting leagues in the US typically have an airline that they partner with. Unless you are swinging for the upscale suites at the stadiums named for that airline, it generally doesn’t have any impact for the consumer. Delta is the airline for the NY Yankees (my favorite team – I know I may have lost a couple of readers with that!) and I had always wished that there was something available to Delta’s Diamonds like special ticket pricing, reduced parking rates, etc. Unfortunately, I never got anything (though I know that have received perks at other stadiums).
Well, Major League Soccer just announced their new airline partner and it wasn’t any of the airlines you would think. No, its not American, Delta, Southwest, United, or even JetBlue. Nope, Major League Soccer signed with Etihad Airways to be their airline partner! Given that soccer isn’t that big of a deal in the US like it is in most other countries of the world, it is not surprising they went with a foreign airline. I would have thought it would have been some other international airline with a larger US presence than a Middle Eastern airline that only currently serves New York, Chicago, Washington, and Toronto. I am sure that Etihad had quite a huge offer for MLS in an effort to lock in what they call “the first multi-year sports sponsorship in the territory and one that underscores the expanding commitment to the U.S. market.” Hopefully, soccer fans get some kind of special deals from this!