The LA 2028 organizing committee has added a major corporate sponsor, signing a $400 million deal that will make Delta Air Lines the official airline of the 2028 Summer Olympics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, it was reported Thursday.
The agreement, confirmed by a source not authorized to speak publicly, represents the next step in a long-term effort by organizers who need to attract big-money partnerships as they seek to cover the estimated $7 billion required to stage the Games, bthe Los Angeles Times reported.
“It sends a message that they are getting deals,” George Belch, a professor in the Sports MBA program at San Diego State, told the newspaper. “That keeps some of the pressure off them.”
Neither LA 2028 nor Delta would comment on the sponsorship, which was first reported by Sports Business Journal and includes Olympic broadcaster NBCUniversal.
Organizers have vowed to cover all expenses through sponsorships, ticket sales and other revenue sources. If LA 2028 cannot generate enough dollars, taxpayers would be left to pay the bill.
The L.A. City Council has agreed to serve as a financial backstop, and California legislators have similarly pledged up to $270 million in state tax dollars to cover any potential deficit.
It was almost a year ago that LA 2028 announced it would begin working with NBCUniversal to sell media and sponsorship deals in tandem. The arrangement was seen as unusual if only because organizers and broadcasters often work separately, and sometimes at odds with each other.
NBCUniversal made an undisclosed financial commitment to LA 2028, a pledge that could further ease concerns about the host committee*s ability to reach its goal of $2.5 billion in domestic sponsorships, according to The Times.
When L.A. agreed to take the Summer Games in 2028, letting Paris go first in 2024, a big part of the agreement involved greater flexibility in making such deals.
Delta will assume its new role next year, after the 2020 Tokyo Games, replacing United, which had a lengthy association with the USOPC and Team USA that amounted to $4 million annually, The Times reported. The airline decided not to seek renewal for business reasons, a person close to the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly told The Times.
The terms of the Delta sponsorship run through 2028.
Another deal — with Nike is expected to become public soon.
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