Delta enlists former NFL great Tom Brady as ‘strategic adviser’

Future Hall of Fame quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl champion to advise Atlanta-based airline on teamwork

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said it is bringing on seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady as a strategic adviser, citing the football star’s expertise in “teamwork, performance and perseverance.”

Brady, who retired this year from the NFL after 23 seasons, will advise Delta on training and teamwork tools for employees, according to the airline. He will also help with marketing and “customer engagement,” and support Delta in its work in communities.

“I am grateful to be joining the Delta family, a company I have loved and respected for years,” Brady said in a written statement. “Growing up with a mother as a flight attendant, I have always admired the people that make seamless air transportation possible.”

The former New England Patriot and Tampa Bay Buccaneer has some experience with flight as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. The Delta gig is the latest work Brady has lined up in his post-football career. He has also inked a lucrative broadcasting deal with Fox that reportedly begins next year.

One business venture Brady started prior to retiring from the NFL, working as a brand ambassador for crypto exchange FTX, flamed out when the company collapsed in what federal authorities have called a massive fraud led by its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.

In hiring Brady, Delta CEO Ed Bastian cited the company’s goals for excellence. “Bringing a leader like Tom onto the Delta team furthers our mission to connect the world while accelerating our drive to continuously improve for our colleagues, customers and communities,” Bastian said in a written statement.

Delta did not disclose how much it will pay Brady for his role in the “multiyear partnership.”

Brady in his statement said he and his teammates during his career have flown Delta “countless times ... even celebrating Super Bowl wins on the plane.”

The Association of Flight Attendants union, which has been trying for years to unionize Delta flight attendants, issued a press release Wednesday welcoming Brady, a “career union member,” to Delta.

The flight attendants union called Brady an “enthusiastic union member,” saying he “understood the importance of player solidarity in achieving workplace safety, earning a fair share of the value created by their labor, and enforcing a clear grievance procedure to ensure due process on the job.”

The International Association of Machinists, which wants to unionize Delta ramp, cargo and tower workers, called for Brady to “use his new influence with Delta Air Lines to respect the right and freedom of workers to choose whether or not to join a union.”

One of Brady’s Super Bowl victories came at the expense of the Atlanta Falcons, which counts Delta as its official airline. In February 2017, Brady led the Patriots to victory after the Falcons amassed a 28-3 lead in the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. Brady also won a Super Bowl in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium when he led the Patriots to a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

“Now, alongside Ed and the Delta team, I look forward to playing my part to continue the company’s success,” Brady added.

As part of the partnership, Brady will appear on Bastian’s webcast interview series dubbed “Gaining Altitude.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an editing error about one of Brady’s Super Bowl victories.