By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 16, 2013
With the American Airlines / U.S. Airways merger official, the new company is more than just the biggest airlines in the world. It’s also a sports marketing juggernaut – especially when it comes to the NBA. The deal gives the company naming rights to three NBA arenas: American Airlines Arena in Miami, American Airlines Center in Dallas, and U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix. These three markets weren’t selected by accident; American is headquartered in Dallas with a regional hub in Miami, while U.S. Airways is based outside of Phoenix.
All told, airlines own the naming rights to five of the 29 NBA arenas. In addition to the three now held by the new American Airlines Group, Air Canada has its name on the Toronto Raptors’ home venue and United Airlines title sponsors the Chicago Bulls’ arena.