This is your captain speaking: Delta Air Lines becomes first company to integrate brand with LA28 logo

What’s in an A? For Delta Air Lines and LA28, a symbolic partnership.

Delta Air Lines integrated LA28 logo on display at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo Credit: Matt Nelsen.
Delta Air Lines integrated LA28 logo on display at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo Credit: Matt Nelsen.

Sponsorships and sponsor branding aren’t a new edition to either the Olympic or Paralympic Games. Venue dressing with company logos, special Games time commercials, and even athlete endorsements have become commonplace from edition to edition. However, LA28 hopes to herald in a new form of partnership, direct integration.

In a commercial first for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a sponsor has been allowed to directly integrate their branding into the logo for the Games. Banners in the newly remodeled Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) displayed Delta’s recognizable “A” as an integrated and unmistakable part of the LA28 logo.

“It’s groundbreaking,” said Danny Koblin, Chief Operating Officer of United States Olympic and Paralympic Properties. “To be able to push the opportunity for a partner to integrate the way we have…it really showcases the connection between the Olympic and Paralympic brands and the sponsors.”

He added, “the sponsors are so important, not just in the funding of the Games, but the operational delivery of the Games.”

The integrated emblem represents the next chapter in the partnership between two organizations according to LA28. Specific details about the enhanced relationship, including merchandising opportunities with the integrated logo, were not provided to Around The Rings.

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Nonetheless, Koblin outlined the importance of sponsorships to the Olympic Movement in the United States.

“When you think about the U.S. being privately funded in order to support the Olympic and Paralympic Movement…being able to get the support of the sponsors, broadcasters, donors; that’s everything,” explained Koblin.

He added, “it’s the only way we, as an organizing committee, can put on the Games.”

Delta Air Lines is no stranger to the Olympic Movement. The airline was a past sponsor of the Atlanta 1996 and Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Games. This is the first time they have been involved with the Olympics as the official airline of Team USA (which started in 2020). The air carrier committed to an eight-year partnership with LA28, becoming the inaugural Founding Partner of the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Scott Santoro, Vice President Los Angeles, Central & West Division for Delta Air Lines, told Around The Rings, “we’ve never been involved in the Olympics, and that, to me, has been something that is the missing cog in our wheel.”

“Now, having the partnership with LA28…walking outside and seeing LA28 with the Delta logo is pretty exciting for us,” admitted Santoro.

Team USA athletes pictured outside specially branded Delta Air Lines plane. Photo Credit: Shelia S. Hula
Team USA athletes pictured outside specially branded Delta Air Lines plane. Photo Credit: Shelia S. Hula

He explained, “we did the first ever charter [flight] to China for the Olympians and Paralympians last year. No other partner had done that before.”

“We took an entire aircraft that used to fly separately over to their [host] city. We actually offered a shuttle for them to go over together, as a team. That’s just one partnership,” expounded Santoro.

He spoke fondly of the integrated logo, commenting, “it’s not just a branding. It’s a true partnership.”

“We’re involved with them in the community, we get involved with them at their events, we work with them side-by-side to find out what their traveler’s needs are and how do we deliver because they are in an interesting position right now.”

Koblin summed up the commercial importance of the integrated logo, stating, “this is the first step to allow a partner to tell a joint story with LA28 by embedding themselves into our emblem itself.”

With six years to go until the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it remains to be seen how that story will read.