The home arena for the Utah Jazz will bring back a familiar name this summer – Delta Center – in the most visible expression of Delta’s support of the NBA team and more importantly: an expanded commitment by the airline to the Salt Lake City community – home to one its hub airports.
Delta will become the Official Airline of the Utah Jazz and the team’s arena will re-take the Delta Center name on July 1, building on Delta’s previous role as Official Community Partner of the team. The new agreement includes new joint community activations, fan-centric programming, and extensive sponsorship, media and branding rights for Delta with the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center and through other touchpoints. Delta will also become a sponsor of the Junior Jazz program.
“We’re proud to partner with the Utah Jazz to serve a community that 5,000 Delta people call home and more than 26 million customers travel through each year,” said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines. “Through this expanded engagement, we’ll have an even stronger presence in Salt Lake City to foster an elevated community experience and cement it as the premier entertainment and leisure destination in the region.”
“Like many Jazz fans, some of my key childhood memories came in Delta Center. The opportunity to partner with Ed Bastian and the entire Delta Team as we move into this next chapter of Utah Jazz history couldn’t be more exciting.,” said Ryan Smith, chairman of Smith Entertainment Group and governor of the Utah Jazz. “Delta’s commitment to Utah, to being a true partner, and to helping provide incredible experiences for all their guests aligns perfectly with our mission to provide exceptional fan experiences to everyone in the Utah Jazz family. Throughout this 50th anniversary season and beyond, Jazz fans will continue to make amazing memories at Delta Center.”
Delta and the Jazz teamed up in January to formally announce the agreement, which begins this summer as the Jazz prepare for their 50th anniversary season as an NBA franchise. The partners will host a special “Welcome Home” celebration at Delta Center this fall, prior to the start of the 2023-24 NBA season.
A Focus on Jazz Fans and Salt Lake City
Through this new agreement, the Jazz and Delta are collaborating extensively on several opportunities including:
Engaging the city’s youth through educational and mentorship opportunities with community organizations such as Utah chapter of Junior Achievement.
Introducing the “Reverse Flyway” experience, where several times this season, the Jazz will select NBA market-based fans outside of Utah the opportunity to travel to a game at Delta Center.
Fans attending the 2023 Salt Lake City Summer League presented by America First Credit Union, taking place July 3, 5 and 6, will be among the first to experience the Delta Center changes.
The Center of attention
Delta Air Lines held the naming rights to the arena upon its original opening in 1991, and, after 17 seasons apart, Delta Center’s return to Salt Lake City marks the first naming rights partnership to be re-established in sports history.
Following the January 2023 announcement about the new partnership, the arena’s transformation began in April 2023, and installation of internal and external Delta Center logos was completed earlier this month. The project, executed by YESCO Custom Electric Signs, encompassed more than 500-man hours over a nine-week period, which included the addition of 5,000 white LEDs inside the building’s 72 exterior letters and cabinets; four 17-foot-long LED illuminated signs; and six exterior signs, made from aluminum material, that feature the Delta Air Lines colors painted on perforated vinyl. During the day, blue and red colors are visible, and at night, all letters illuminate white. The largest exterior letters are over six feet tall.
Interior upgrades to the venue are underway to ensure Delta Center branding is prominently featured in every area to include the center hung scoreboard, digital signage, and on the basketball court alongside recognition of Larry H. Miller who owned the Jazz franchise for 35 years.
The Delta Sky360® Club, an invitation-only club located on level one of the arena, underwent initial upgrades before last season, and a design overhaul continues this summer. Additionally, the arena’s level five broadcast studio, where all Utah Jazz pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows are produced, is also being fully redesigned and will be rebranded as “Delta Studios.” Game day production for the Utah Jazz will be managed by SEG Media, Smith Entertainment Group’s recently introduced production company to oversee all content creation and distribution for the team. All internal arena updates will be completed prior to the start of the 2023-24 NBA season.