Hmm: Delta Hires Tom Brady As Strategic Advisor

Hmm: Delta Hires Tom Brady As Strategic Advisor

84

Delta Air Lines has hired Tom Brady, and not just for an ad campaign…

Delta & Tom Brady launch long-term partnership

Delta and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady have today announced “an innovative new partnership, connecting Brady’s expertise in teamwork, performance, and perseverance directly to Delta as a long-term strategic adviser.”

This new partnership will include multiple elements that will involve Brady in strategic initiatives alongside Delta’s global employee base, customers, and other key stakeholders. Delta claims that this partnership will integrate Brady’s spirit of winning and passion for inspiring people to be the best version of themselves with Delta’s goal of connecting people to their greatest potential.

Brady’s work will target the following areas:

  • Employees — Brady will partner with Delta to develop and advise on strategic training and teamwork tools for the airline’s more than 90,000 employees
  • Customers — Leaning into Delta’s “Keep Climbing” ethos, Brady will support the company’s brand identity in select elements of Delta’s marketing and customer engagement
  • Communities — Brady will support Delta’s work to positively impact communities where employees live and work, inspiring the next generation of Delta community leaders

Here’s how Delta CEO Ed Bastian describes this development:

“Delta’s people are driven by their commitment to world-class performance, excellence and a desire to achieve best-in-class results. 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.”

Meanwhile here’s how Tom Brady describes his new role:

“I am grateful to be joining the Delta family, a company I have loved and respected for years. Growing up with a mother as a flight attendant, I have always admired the people that make seamless air transportation possible. Throughout my career, my teammates and I flew Delta countless times, spending hours traveling for some of the most important games of our lives, even celebrating Super Bowl wins on the plane.”

“Those championship teams were built off of great leadership and a commitment to excellence, and Delta certainly shares those qualities. Now, alongside Ed and the Delta team, I look forward to playing my part to continue the company’s success.”

Below is a joint interview from today with Bastian and Brady, where they discuss this new partnership.

My take on Tom Brady “joining” Delta

Let me start by saying that I’m not exactly the target audience for this, since I have more interest in curling than football (and I don’t even really have much interest in curling).

With that in mind, let me of course acknowledge that Brady is an absolute legend and very-well known, so I can understand how Delta would want to use Brady for marketing. That’s especially true when you consider that Delta is continuing to try to grow its presence in Boston, and Brady spent years playing for the Patriots.

Now, Brady has a questionable past when it comes to his endorsements and ads for outside brands, like how he was a spokesperson for FTX, and reportedly accepted compensation almost entirely in stock, so he lost tens of millions of dollars. In fairness, I’d say Delta is a bit more reputable of a company.

I think what I find most intriguing here is the extent to which it’s being emphasized that this isn’t just Brady being part of an ad campaign, but rather that he’s somehow going to help transform the airline when it comes to leadership and teamwork. There’s no doubt he was an amazing quarterback and leader in that regard, but I’m curious how many of those skills will translate at a major global airline.

Despite what Delta is saying, I get the sense that this is a marketing agreement above all else, though I’d sure love to be proven wrong. Maybe the next Sky Club access cuts or SkyMiles changes will be Brady’s idea!

Bottom line

Delta has hired football superstar Tom Brady as a strategic advisor. While we’ve seen airlines hire athletes in the past, what makes this arrangement unique is the extent to which he’s supposed to help the company with training and teamwork tools. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to be a fly on the wall in those meetings…

What do you make of Tom Brady being hired by Delta?

Conversations (84)
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  1. Chas Guest

    It’s gonna take much more than Tom Brady to fix the underlying problems associated with customer service at Delta. They’ve been drinking their propaganda Kool-aid for too long in believing they are so much better than the other air carriers.

  2. Aamir Guest

    Delta is annoying for doing this. Clearly a move to win the Boston fam base. Tom Brady is a great football player indeed. But has terrible character as you intimate.

  3. ElleSea New Member

    In my book, Brady will tarnish Delta's brand as he cheated in the NFL (e.g. Deflate Gate, play stealing). Yeah, he was a good QB but no role model in ethics. He is now a has been and is trying to be all sorts of things in his new life (sports caster, spokes model, etc.) so he can't possibly be a jack of all trades.

  4. Andrew Diamond

    "Maybe the next Sky Club access cuts or SkyMiles changes will be Brady’s idea!"

    Hahahahahaha. Instead of the complete lie "we heard customers are looking for this", they can say "Tom Brady!" to shut the conversation down.

  5. Kyle Guest

    First thing to do end the 12status and Seahawks sponsorship and starting something with the Raiders where he’s a new minority owner

  6. RF Diamond

    Any company working with Tom Brady weakens their brand.

    1. ElleSea New Member

      Yup. He doesn't have a reputation for playing fair or honestly. NB: Deflategate

  7. Volleyball New Member

    DL got the buzz they were looking for. He'll probably be the person who does the employee training videos and possibly the canned pre-flight briefing

    1. XPL Diamond

      And, heaven forbid, a safety video.

  8. Aviator Guest

    I'm afraid his getting in bed with Spam Bankrupt Fraud. Mr. FTX has tarnished his persona forever.

  9. ATL_Traveler Guest

    For what it's worth, Tom Brady's long term brand deals have been very few and highly successful including Tom Ford clothing and Aston Martin motorcars. More recently he signed a brand deal with Hertz rental cars. I don't think one brand affiliation with a now bankrupt company (FTX) is enough to say he has questionable past with brand deals.

    Peyton Manning repped Papa John's for years, appeared in multiple ad campaign with Papa John...

    For what it's worth, Tom Brady's long term brand deals have been very few and highly successful including Tom Ford clothing and Aston Martin motorcars. More recently he signed a brand deal with Hertz rental cars. I don't think one brand affiliation with a now bankrupt company (FTX) is enough to say he has questionable past with brand deals.

    Peyton Manning repped Papa John's for years, appeared in multiple ad campaign with Papa John himself, and Peyton had no idea the founder was openly using racist slurs having used the N word on a company conference call.

    My point is, these athletes and celebrities sign up for brand deals all the time and sometimes the brands become tarnished or close shop. It happens and it doesn't mean anything regarding the spokesperson. All that being said, I think you breakdown is accurate and this is more of a marketing play for Delta/Brady. It's smart to have a guy like that on the team, especially when it comes to employee relations. There are hardly any players who didn't love Brady as a leader in the locker room. Those skills translate to the office too- like the guy or not.

    1. Volleyball New Member

      Probably part of his compensation is free airfare which he would have had to pay for otherwise

    2. Tim Dunn Guest

      well said.
      Brady accomplished more on the field than all but a handful in life. He learned and perfected lessons he can teach us whether we like him or not.
      Whether he translates those lessons on the field to something of value to an airline and its customers off the field remains to be seen.
      whatever Brady does for Delta good or bad will be inconsequential for both parties.

  10. RK Guest

    66 comments in and not one joke about Delta deflating their tires?

  11. frrp Diamond

    Its clearly nothing but a glorified association to someone that the general public knows.

    Brady isnt gonna say no to free cash (and probably delta flights) in exchange for his image being used against prepared copy and turning up at head office twice a year.

    1. OCTinPHL Diamond

      Flights? C’mon, Brady is never going to fly commercial.

    2. Scudder Diamond

      I thought of cracking one, but someone did better by referring to reduced cabin pressure.

  12. Carl Guest

    I really don't see how Brady can bring anything meaningful to Delta. What a waste of money. What the heck is delta doing? In my opinion, they have become a bit too self confident and complacent, and lately, it's become increasingly visible with FAs on some flights and now with some dumb business decisions made at the corporate level. Kind of reminiscent of 1970s' Pan Am...

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      What on earth are you even talking about, lol?

      They have the highest market cap of any airline on the planet, and have managed to increase their margins y.o.y. rather consistently.

      Sure you may have had a bad experience on a random flight, but to extrapolate that into "they're like PanAm!!" is..... strange.

  13. Watson Diamond

    If Brady can reduce the air pressure, the engines will function more efficiently.

  14. kimshep Guest

    I think I have figured out what TB's first job at Delta will be!

    On landing, all DL pilots will be instructed to yell "TOUCHDOWN" over the PA system. Now, onto job nbr #2.

    1. Brianair Guest

      OMG this is hilarious! I don’t understand why this hasn’t been given a “Helpful”.

    2. frrp Diamond

      This, right here, is the sort of change that actually makes a difference! :D

  15. Brian Guest

    Seems Delta is wasting cash that could be used to reinvest in the product, reduce debt, or return to shareholders. Wish Delta would focus on getting rid of its junk rating than needing ex NFL brand ambassadors. Mr. Brady flies private anyways.

  16. Bill Guest

    My understanding is that this is tied in with the Skymiles changes upcoming. I have it from a good source that Tom will be applying all he learned from SBF at FTX to enhance the Skymiles program. The partnership (yet to be made public) with Elon Musk will set the stage for the dynamic valuation of Skymiles to be equal to one Doge coin subject to Mr. Musks X posts. Skymiles will now be available...

    My understanding is that this is tied in with the Skymiles changes upcoming. I have it from a good source that Tom will be applying all he learned from SBF at FTX to enhance the Skymiles program. The partnership (yet to be made public) with Elon Musk will set the stage for the dynamic valuation of Skymiles to be equal to one Doge coin subject to Mr. Musks X posts. Skymiles will now be available to use for redemption with Space X and the occasional tarmac Porsche will be in a Tesla.

  17. EARL Elms Guest

    I don’t feel your comments reflect any expertise in marketing to say the least
    And he was spokesperson for one bad deal—-ever made a decision or bad money situation?

    I would would look into the value brought to the table with DL. Brady knows more about teamwork and getting a team motivated than any current spokesperson of this era
    Stick to your expertise please

    1. XPL Diamond

      Well Earl, here's your chance to educate us. Do tell.

  18. KW Guest

    Should have hired Giselle instead, she's the real business sense out of that (former) duo

  19. Gussy Guest

    Delta is the premier airline..why not have the best of the best…just not sure what Tom Brady knows education wise…

  20. Leigh Diamond

    These kind of initiatives almost always begin with ad agency executives/account teams brainstorming in a conference room or bar. It's simply what they do, and it's up to the client's management team to weed through the good versus fluff ideas.

    As for this initiative...who knows. How long is the deal for, I wonder?

    Given his profile, I'd fully expect that related media will be asking for ongoing updates on the results of his contributions...

    These kind of initiatives almost always begin with ad agency executives/account teams brainstorming in a conference room or bar. It's simply what they do, and it's up to the client's management team to weed through the good versus fluff ideas.

    As for this initiative...who knows. How long is the deal for, I wonder?

    Given his profile, I'd fully expect that related media will be asking for ongoing updates on the results of his contributions (are there metrics other than PR AVE?), and staff will no doubt have ongoing feedback to share...and there's no guarantee that the staff feedback will be positive...but let's hope it is.

    And @DT's comment was brilliantly hilarious

  21. VitaliU Gold

    I am always surprised by how delusional CEOs are about how much the public cares who they are, what they look like and what they do. What makes them think I want to see them in safety videos or any advertising? Do your job, make the airline run well and make money for the shareholders.

    1. George Romey Guest

      Very well said. CEOs are from this elite class that think it's their job to be liked by the public.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      These people don't give 2 squirts of runny dog-crap about "being liked by the public"... their objective is to keep the public watching one hand, while the(irs or another) hand robs the public blind.

      That this is all happening the week before SkyMiles gets the needle, shouldn't be lost on anyone.

  22. XPL Diamond

    If I were as celeb-crazed as Delta thinks I am, I would be holding out for Global Airlines. For all his faults, James Asquith at least has confirmed experience as a commercial airline passenger.

  23. CJH Guest

    Hell, I am a huge football fan and like Brady. But this does absolutely nothing for me. Seems like a stupid waste of money.

  24. Mark Guest

    United will hire Micheal Jordan and American will hire Derrick Jeter soon

    1. XPL Diamond

      United already hired Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. He gives a better interview than Tom Brady, too.
      https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-names-oscar-the-grouch-as-first-chief-trash-officer-301760860.html

  25. Jack Guest

    When was the last time he flew commercial….?

  26. Fanboy Guest

    Alternate headline

    "Delta V.P. wants to meet Tom Brady."

    They throw money away on useless things like this during the good times, and they will be looking for bailouts from Delta employees and American taxpayers in the lean times.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      And the sad part is, they'll get it, as they always do, and no one will bat an eye...

      ...all while media tells people to be outraged at college students, for suggesting that maybe 21-yr-olds in 6figure debt (just for the audacity of seeking an education) might not be the healthiest thing for a society long-term.

      But we'll be having none of that. Because this is America, where we socialize the corporate losses and privately capitalize the gains. USA! USA!

  27. Rozellev Guest

    A Guy that haven’t flown a regular carrier flight in probably 30 years lol will help their employees and passengers! Probably doesn’t even know what a boarding group is or how to checkin on the app or what does baggage drop off means lol

  28. digital_notmad Diamond

    glad to see the money from the impending gutting of skymiles is going to such a compelling cause

  29. sunviking82 Guest

    OMG. . .what a waste of money. DL is becoming a joke.

    1. Extraordinary1 Member

      News flash: DL is already a joke and has been a joke since the early 2010s.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      WE INTERRUPT THIS NEWSFLASH TO ALTERNATIVELY REPORT: bunch of randos on a blog forum repeating "joke" sans substance or corroboration, does not a fact make.

      NOW BACK TO YOUR REGULAR BROADCAST.

  30. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    1: So funny that United Airlines logo kept flashing behind them thr whole time. Bahahahah!
    2: This doesn't move the needle for me AT ALL.
    3: He is genuinely dumb and You can see that by his odd and rambling answer. Even Ed was trying to keep it together while he was talking.

    1. betterbub Diamond

      Tom Brady is the king of long rambly politician answers

    2. XPL Diamond

      This does move the needle for me, but in the wrong direction. Now every time I look at Delta flights I'll wonder how much of their always-a-little-higher-than-the-other-guys fare is going to a celeb who presumably doesn't even fly commercial himself.

  31. AC Guest

    Didn't Brady have a team built around him? Like a lot of sportspeople?
    No denial that he's talented, but being the star of the team where the team is built for you doesn't strike me as being an expert in "teamwork" - just look at Mbappe at PSG.
    That said...Americans love their stars, so I guess that's suppose to mean something,

    1. betterbub Diamond

      The majority of his job as a QB was to pass the ball to his teammates. If he didn’t trust competent teammates to finish the job then he wasn’t doing his job.

      That being said though this definitely is kind of a funny move by Delta

  32. betterbub Diamond

    All flights from Atlanta now departing at 3:28

    1. Jan Guest

      I understood this reference lmao

  33. Op Guest

    What is confusing?

    Brady has been hands on for years running the orgs he’s involved with and he’s an inspiration to people.

    Bankman Fried stole money, Brady didn’t “lose” it.

    I haven’t actually watched an NFL game in years and even I know this

    Every critic here would turn into a teenage girl at a Bieber concert if he walked by and that’s what happens when you’re not just a sports champion but...

    What is confusing?

    Brady has been hands on for years running the orgs he’s involved with and he’s an inspiration to people.

    Bankman Fried stole money, Brady didn’t “lose” it.

    I haven’t actually watched an NFL game in years and even I know this

    Every critic here would turn into a teenage girl at a Bieber concert if he walked by and that’s what happens when you’re not just a sports champion but a winner in life.

    Delta may have made a bad move to try and keep their bloated business afloat but Brady made a shrewd move here.

  34. Mitt Nud Guest

    This is one of the most balanced "speculations" on the web about what might be coming w/ Tom Brady.

    Without making comparisons, Ben notes that Tom Brady is the greatest NFL player in the world.

    As much as some people will come out of the woodwork to talk about how they personally see no value in this partnership, Delta has succeeded in building partnerships that has not only delivered more value not just to Delta...

    This is one of the most balanced "speculations" on the web about what might be coming w/ Tom Brady.

    Without making comparisons, Ben notes that Tom Brady is the greatest NFL player in the world.

    As much as some people will come out of the woodwork to talk about how they personally see no value in this partnership, Delta has succeeded in building partnerships that has not only delivered more value not just to Delta but also to Delta customers. The strength of Delta partnerships is precisely why Delta has been able to find success more than any other airline.

    Tom Brady and DL have done more for each other than any airline and NFL player have ever done for each other. They both have enormous incentive to build on that relationship.

    1. Mitt Nud Guest

      Absolutely, this is one of the greatest decisions we’ve seen from Delta in a while. Move over AMEX, A350K order, DOJ approved KE-OZ merger, there’s a new sheriff in town.

    2. Icarus Guest

      The world lol for one of the most boring games that has almost zero interest outside the US. At least baseball is played in more countries and that’s as tedious as cricket.

      I can’t stand it when companies employ people from outside the industry with absolutely no idea how it works.

      Perhaps Alan Joyce can join the NFL.

    3. LarryInNYC Diamond

      Nothing -- nothing! -- is as boring as cricket. Baseball games just feel like they're three days long. Cricket matches really are.

    4. Icarus Guest

      Although more global. I love it when Americans say World Series ie US Canada lol

    5. Steven E Guest

      So greatest player in “The world “ Apparently the world is just the USA .. seriously

    6. Eskimo Guest

      LOL, this is what happens when a chat bot copies another chat bot.

      Careful when you inbreed, Tim, no I mean Mitt.

  35. Tim Dunn Diamond

    While I like a number of other sports personalities far more than Tom Brady, I have enormous respect for him and what he has achieved.

    Are there things he can teach the rest of us off the gridiron? Maybe

    Does he have enormous marketing clout in a number of key markets - whether their airport code is ATL or not? absolutely.

    This will be interesting to watch but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise.

    1. Ken Guest

      Seriously? Is it possible for you to either be neutral or critical for once when it comes to Delta? Just for once, say "I'm not sure Delta got it right". Try it

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      is it possible for you and others to simply take a "wait and see" attitude - which is all I said - instead of simply trashing the move?

      The bias is yours - and of a whole lot of other people - not mine.

    3. pstm91 Diamond

      I'm with Tim on this one. How can you possibly say Delta hasn't gotten it right when it hasn't even started yet? "Wait and see" is completely fair, especially when they're in the midst of expanding Boston. All of these critics are just people who either don't like him or don't like football in general. FWIW, this is coming from a Giants fan.

    4. Leigh Diamond

      @Tim....on one hand I fully agree with you, across the spectrum of your original comment...on the other hand, you have sense and logic, and as a business person I don't think I'd be confident to launch a major initiative (and with such huge potential PR implications) with a "wait and see" approach. That logic doesn't seem like you, actually...

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I and no one else here knows the details of what Delta is asking for from Tom Brady (or his team, this isn't just about him) or what he will get compensated for.
      I don't need to understand to take a wait and see attitude. Delta has the details to have decided to move forward.
      What I do know is that Delta is the most profitable airline in the world and has the...

      I and no one else here knows the details of what Delta is asking for from Tom Brady (or his team, this isn't just about him) or what he will get compensated for.
      I don't need to understand to take a wait and see attitude. Delta has the details to have decided to move forward.
      What I do know is that Delta is the most profitable airline in the world and has the highest market cap.
      They didn't get there by playing by the "rules" that other airlines use.
      I'm not endorsing or condemning the deal - but I am willing to wait and watch.

  36. ZTravel Guest

    What a mess… what’s going on at Delta!!?

  37. lavanderialarry Guest

    What nonsense. Pure marketing and bad marketing too. American business can be so parochial.

  38. Anthony Diamond

    As someone from Atlanta I still get shit when in Boston and from New England fans about that Super Bowl - not sure why Delta signed this dude

    1. Watson Diamond

      Can I give you shit here too? 28-3

  39. Nate nate Guest

    Atlanta's WSB said it best:

    ATLANTA — The star quarterback from the team that broke the hearts of of Falcons fans in Super Bowl LII is now working for an Atlanta-based company.

  40. Robert Fahr Guest

    A second Biscoff cookie would make more sense than this toss of cash.

  41. Mak Guest

    This is how you can hang out with a sporting celebrity you have an infantile boyish crush on by using shareholder funds and pretending its for a business purpose. What an outrage! Where is the Board of Directors?

  42. DT Gold

    First order of business - reduce cabin pressure 20%.

    1. Watson Diamond

      Can't spell "deflate" without "delta"!

  43. Ace Guest

    Watching the CNBC interview today confirmed what I already knew: Tom Brady was unquestionably a great quarterback but is about as intelligent and charismatic and wall of white paint. I suspect that his broadcasting days will be short-lived and his contribution to the C-Suite of Delta hit it’s peak value about an hour ago.

  44. Steve Diamond

    Hiring a guy who will endorse anything for the money is one thing, hiring a guy who has never used your product a single time and a guy who hasnt flown commercial in 20+ years.

  45. Jonathan Guest

    Can we discuss "Atlanta's airline" hiring the guy who led a Super Bowl comeback against the Falcons?

    1. Sean M. Diamond

      If he has anything to do with the numbers 28 and 3, I swear I'll cry.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DT Gold

First order of business - reduce cabin pressure 20%.

12
Ken Guest

Seriously? Is it possible for you to either be neutral or critical for once when it comes to Delta? Just for once, say "I'm not sure Delta got it right". Try it

8
sunviking82 Guest

OMG. . .what a waste of money. DL is becoming a joke.

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