Allegiant Air and the Detroit Pistons announced last week that they are entering a multi-year partnership that will designate Allegiant as the “Official Airline of the Detroit Pistons.”
Let’s just think about that for a second.
Travel friends, there are some things that just go well together. Thelma and Louise. Campfires and ghost stories. Macaroni and cheese (Did you know we had what’s touted as “the best macaroni and cheese in the world?” Here’s what we thought of it).
And do you know what? If any brand of a U.S.-based airline and a basketball team ever paired well together, Allegiant Air and the Detroit Pistons would be it.
And yes, I know, I know…Allegiant’s office headquarters are in Nevada. Allegiant also doesn’t even serve Detroit. But they have two “permanent” bases in Flint (an Allegiant hub since about…4 months ago) and Grand Rapids (albeit in a “reduced capacity” since 2011), which I guess makes Detroit (respectively about 71 and 153 miles away form the two cities) kinda sorta close enough? I dunno.
But let’s look at some other reasons Allegiant and the Pistons should be, *cough*, “united.” (Oh yes I did! I’m here all week. Try the veal.).
During the 2020-21 season, the Pistons had the second-worst record in the league, with a record of 20-52. During 2020, Allegiant had the second-worst record of U.S.-based airlines of being on time.
During the 2021-2022 season, the Pistons finished at 23-59 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season. In 2021, Allegiant had the third most complaints of U.S.-based airlines on Twitter (they also saw the most significant increases in their complaint rates to the FAA in the first quarter of 2022, but who’s counting?).
Now really, we shouldn’t make too much fun of the Pistons…mainly because so many people have already done it for us. There are already jokes galore, like:
Then again, if you thought the potential Frontier-Spirit merger was fodder for a lot of jokes, have you checked out what some people have said about Allegiant?
Because really, we’ve been saying for years that we won’t fly on them…here’s why.
Seriously though, there’s nothing wrong with an airline partnering with a sports team. In this case, the partnership between Allegiant and the Pistons has elements that reflect values shared by both brands and demonstrates the airline’s ongoing commitment to support the communities where its employees live and work. For example, Allegiant will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Pistons Pride Night, an annual event recognizing the efforts of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to achieve equality.
Allegiant will also engage basketball fans across Michigan through activations, sweepstakes, and sponsored content.
“We are excited to welcome Allegiant as the official airline of the Detroit Pistons,” said Brenden Mallette, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships & Engagement for the Detroit Pistons. “Both Allegiant and the Pistons organization share a core value of commitment and service to Michigan and our communities.”
The partnership with the Pistons will also expand the airline’s ties to sports organizations and teams. In fact, according to customer surveys, nearly a quarter of all Allegiant travelers say they’re NBA fans.Your Mileage May Vary