SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The San Francisco Giants and Virgin America, the only airline headquartered in California and the Official Airline of the team, will host a red carpet send-off for the Giants' 2012 World Championship Trophy as it heads to New York City as part of the Championship Trophy Tour. The Trophy will fly in style, riding in Virgin America's plush First Class cabin en route from SFO to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York – onboard a new Virgin America Airbus aircraft "Fly Bye Baby," named in honor of the SF Giants and painted with a beard across the aircraft nose – a nod to the facial-hair friendly hometown champions. San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer will surprise guests on the SFO-JFK commercial flight by inviting fellow travelers to take photos with the Trophy in-flight at 35,000 feet. Together, Baer and Virgin America's President and CEO, David Cush, will host a send-off reception for the Trophy from the departure gate at Virgin America's sleek home at Terminal 2.
"As the only airline headquartered here in the Bay Area, we and our guests lived all the excitement of the past season – even cheering on our hometown team from our flights at 35,000 feet via our live satellite TV," said David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America. "Our success as an airline is a credit to the support that we receive from this community and our longstanding partnership with the SF Giants, in particular, is one we are incredibly thankful for and proud of. It is an honor to have Larry fly with us today and to send this trophy off on its national 'victory lap' in style."
Once in New York, the trophy will be available to Giants fans who have followed the team for generations – while they were based in New York and after moving to San Francisco in 1958. A public viewing of the trophy will be held on Saturday, January 19 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Finnerty's Bar in Manhattan.
"We are incredibly proud of our second championship in three years and we are eager to share that excitement with fans across the country. It is only fitting that we would team up with our longstanding partner Virgin America to bring the trophy to our fans in New York. I am very much looking forward to seeing the reaction from travelers onboard," said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. "I've been told that during the season, entire groups of fans on Virgin America flights were up in their seats and cheering as they watched live games on TV – so we think the trophy will get a pretty friendly reception from Bay Area flyers."
In addition to every Virgin America flyer being able to already enjoy a live satellite television channel line-up that features a range of live news and sports – including nationally televised Giants baseball games on FOX, Virgin America flyers have access to an exclusive Giants channel on the airline's Red™ system, a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment platform, that houses behind-the-scenes fan content, including highlights from the 2012 and 2010 seasons.
Onboard the flight, Baer will encourage fellow commercial flyers onboard to tweet and grab photos with the trophy in-flight. Baer will also host a Twitter chat at 35,000 feet using the airline's WiFi and the hashtags #sfgtrophy and #myvxexperience, encouraging fans to send questions while the Trophy is in the air.
- For photos of the Virgin America 'Fly by Baby" plane painted with a beard: www.virginamerica.com/vx/sf-giants-partnership#int=photos_sf_giants
- Video of aircraft: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dev3zQY6XBA. High-res video: www.virginamerica.com/vx/photos
- Photos of the press conference and the Trophy on board of the Virgin America flight will be available at: www.virginamerica.com/vx/sf-giants-partnership#int=photos_sf_giants
- Video footage of Virgin America guests cheering on the hometown team from 35,000 feet watching the World Series final games in 2012 via the airline's Live TV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyPR4y7vPs8
Virgin America has served as "the Official Airline of the San Francisco Giants" since 2008. In 2011, Virgin America renewed and expanded a multi-year multi-million dollar partnership with the world champion San Francisco Giants through 2015. The partnership includes unique stadium branding, such as the "Virgin America Loft" at McCovey Cove, in-stadium signage and LEDs and the mood-lit "Virgin America Club Level" that was launched last year in a nod to the airline's signature cabin lighting. In March 2012, the airline unveiled its "Fly Bye Baby" aircraft – the newest member of its fleet – named and painted in honor of the SF Giants. In August 2012, Virgin America held the first-ever baseball pitch live broadcast from onboard a commercial flight at 35,000 feet – to open the San Francisco Giants' home game against the Colorado Rockies.
Virgin America's new fleet offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment at every seat. The Red™ platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline's First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America is a U.S. owned and operated airline that has created more than 2,600 jobs and since its 2007 launch. In 2011, the airline opened its new home as an anchor tenant at SFO's new beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2. Known for beautifully-designed planes with WiFi, power outlets and touch-screen entertainment at every seat, Virgin America has swept the travel awards since its 2007 launch, including being named "Best U.S. Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. For more: www.virginamerica.com
SOURCE Virgin America