PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Major League Soccer (MLS) Portland Timbers and Alaska Airlines today announced that Alaska Airlines is the team's official airline. The multiyear deal is highlighted by the Alaska Airlines' logo prominently featured on the team's jerseys beginning with the Timbers' debut MLS season in March 2011.
"Today's announcement is a significant and defining moment for the MLS Timbers," said Merritt Paulson, president of the Timbers. "Alaska Airlines as a jersey partner is a perfect marriage for us. Alaska has strong local roots, shares our unwavering commitment to outstanding customer service and offers unique promotional opportunities for our organization."
As part of the sponsorship, the airline will support the new Portland Timbers Community Fund, partnering with the team on several youth-based fitness and educational initiatives. Additionally, the airline will donate 25 game-day tickets to underprivileged Portland-area youth at every home game as part of the Timbers "Tickets for Kids" program. Alaska Airlines also will be the presenting sponsor for all MLS Timbers youth soccer camps.
"With Portland roots going back more than three decades, Alaska Airlines is honored to be the MLS Timbers' jersey sponsor," said Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden. "Supporting Portland's hometown soccer team is the perfect fit for Alaska Airlines and the 2,300 Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees who call the greater Portland area home."
With the announcement, Alaska Airlines becomes the first airline jersey sponsor in the 15-year history of MLS.
"Merritt Paulson and the entire Timbers staff have done a fantastic job elevating the profile of professional soccer in Portland and the Pacific Northwest, and this strategic alliance is one of many reasons why we believe the Timbers will be very successful when they debut in MLS next year," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "What makes this new partnership so special is the fact that Alaska Airlines has such a strong presence in Portland, helping to build excitement in a region already so rich in soccer tradition."
MLS Timbers fans attending games at the newly renovated PGE Park also will see Alaska Airlines advertising throughout the stadium, including new field-level animated digital signage.
The Timbers will unveil the team's MLS uniforms and official training wear featuring the Alaska Airlines logo in December.
Together Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air offer more nonstop flights (serving 25 different destinations), more daily flights (88 a day) and more California service (38 flights daily to 13 California destinations) from Portland International Airport than any other carrier. Customers can learn more at www.alaskaair.com/PDX.
Note to media: High-resolution photographs of the announcement will be posted by 11 a.m. PST to Alaska Airlines' newsroom image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
About MLS Portland Timbers
On March 20, 2009, Major League Soccer (MLS) awarded Portland the league's 18th franchise to begin play in the top-flight professional soccer league starting in 2011. The Portland Timbers will mark their debut MLS season in 2011 in a significantly renovated PGE Park that will create one of the most exciting and authentic soccer environments in the country. New stadium amenities will include better sightlines closer to the action, new premium seating on the east side of the field, a new club lounge and a new entry plaza and team store. The Timbers have been a beloved part of the Portland sports landscape since their early beginnings in the North American Soccer League in 1975, launching the era of "Soccer City USA" in the Rose City.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008, 2009 and 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Studies(SM). For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS features 16 clubs each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union. Expansion teams in Portland and Vancouver will debut in 2011 and in Montreal in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.
SOURCE Alaska Airlines