Delta to be airline sponsor of Team USA, Los Angeles Summer Olympics

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is framed by signage after the city was officially awarded the rights to host the 2028 Olympic Games on September 13, 2017. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Delta Air Lines will become the official airline of Team USA starting next year and the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

The sponsorships are worth $400 million, according to Sports Business Journal. Delta declined to comment on the financial terms.

Atlanta-based Delta will supplant Chicago-based rival United as the official airline of U.S. Olympic athletes.

United has been Team USA's official airline for about 40 years, but will cede the sponsorship to Delta starting with the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. Delta will also be Team USA's official airline for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, 2026 in Milan-Cortina and 2028 in Los Angeles.

Each Olympic host city’s organizing committee also works to attract sponsors. The Tokyo 2020 committee teamed up with Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, Beijing 2022 with Air China and Paris 2024 with Air France.

Delta has been jockeying with United and American for the title of top airline — and all three carriers have hubs at Los Angeles. Delta has spent the past several years establishing a foothold with a hub at Los Angeles International Airport and growing its presence there.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian plans to make a formal announcement at an event at Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory on Monday evening.

Sports Business Journal reported that the deal is with LA28 — the organizer of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028 — and Olympics broadcaster NBCUniversal.

The sponsorship announcement comes amid concerns that the coronavirus could affect the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

It’s not the first time Delta has had an Olympics sponsorship. The airline sponsored the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, both Delta hub cities.

Delta has also been the official airline of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, which is the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding.

Other metro Atlanta companies have had Olympics-related sponsorships over the years, including UPS and longtime Olympic partner Coca-Cola.

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