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American Airlines is taking aim at rival Delta’s inroads in entertainment by forming a branding partnership with what is arguably the industry’s premier media publication.
American is teaming up with The Hollywood Reporter and will serve as the official airline of The Hollywood Reporter and exclusive airline partner of THR events.
"The Hollywood Reporter produces some of the best, most sought after events anywhere, drawing attendance from top celebrities and industry power players," John Amato, Co-President of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, said in a statement. "We are proud to partner with American Airlines as they continue their growth in the entertainment and Los Angeles markets, and we look forward to working together for an amazing 2016 awards season."
American suddenly becomes privy to a series of annual events hosted by The Hollywood Reporter during awards season, as well as activations on-site at key film festivals. It’s a partnership that American has watched work extremely well for Delta.
Next month, for the sixth consecutive year, Delta will again sponsor the Grammy Awards as well as host a pre-Grammy invite-only party featuring a private performance. Delta is also a sponsor of the MusiCares Foundation annual fundraiser, where the MusiCares Person of the Year is named at a gala event.
As the official airline sponsor of The Hollywood Reporter, American Airlines will be in position to retain similar category exclusivity over such events as The Hollywood Reporter’s star-studded affairs at the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival, as well as at annual branded events such as Nominees Night, which toasts the year's Academy Awards nominees; the New York Power cocktail reception honoring the 35 Most Powerful People in Media list; the Next Gen celebration; and THR's Women in Entertainment breakfast.
Like Delta, American is banking on the role of "influencers" in pop culture – individuals such as celebrities and athletes, people constantly in the limelight who have the power to effect change or, more importantly, the power to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers. Associating a favorite celebrity with American Airlines creates a situation which the carrier hopes will resonate in the minds of consumers.
"Being the preferred airline of Los Angeles, we are excited and proud to be the official airline sponsor of The Hollywood Reporter, and with that, have the largest presence during awards season," Fernand Fernandez, vice president – Global Marketing, American Airlines, said in a statement. "Our growing commitment to LA starts at the airport, but it continues through our more than 5,000 local employees, involvement in the community through non-profit organizations, and now unprecedented engagement in the entertainment industry."