NBA Dwight Howard To Endorse AirTran Airways





NBA Dwight Howard To Endorse AirTran Airways

By Mike Mitchell

December 16, 2009 - AirTran Airways announced the signing of Orlando Magic All-Star Center Dwight Howard. The Olympic gold medalist, 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Champion and leader of the 2009 Eastern Conference Champions will be featured in radio spots, online advertising and high-impact billboards.  

To officially kick off this partnership, Howard, along with AirTran Airways and Orlando Magic executives, unveiled "Magic 1" a one-of-a-kind Boeing 717 painted in the Magic's colors in Orlando.  

"Dwight Howard is one of the most outstanding young athletes in sports today. His accomplishments on the court and his community involvement off the court make him a great fit for AirTran Airways and what we strive to do as the hometown airline," said Tad Hutcheson, AirTran Airways' vice president of marketing and sales. "We look forward to a long and successful partnership with him."  

Since being selected as the first overall player in the 2004 draft, Howard has distinguished himself with numerous awards and accolades, including being named an All-Star three times, being the youngest player ever to reach 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000 rebounds and winning a gold medal with Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics. As importantly, Howard has also been involved in several charitable endeavors, including creating the Dwight D. Howard Youth Foundation.  


Howard joins several high-profile sports endorsers on the AirTran Airways' roster, including quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Donovan McNabb; hockey stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Kari Lehtonen; baseball all-star Ryan Braun; pitcher Tom Glavine; and IndyCar racer Danica Patrick.  

AirTran Airways is an American low-cost airline. A subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, AirTran operates over 750 daily flights, primarily in the eastern and midwestern United States. AirTran's principal hub is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where it operates over 270 daily departures. AirTran Holdings is headquartered at Orlando International Airport, where AirTran also maintains a secondary hub. AirTran was often confused with the unrelated and now-defunct ATA Airlines, due to the similarity of their names, their comparable price points and the fact that they commonly shared focus cities such as Boston Logan Airport. AirTran is the world's largest Boeing 717-200 operator. 

In 1992, the predecessor airline, ValuJet Airlines, was founded by airline industry veterans, including an executive group from the former Southern Airways and pilots, mechanics and flight attendants from the defunct Eastern Air Lines. 

Created to fill the void at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after Eastern Air Lines' demise, ValuJet Airlines started with two former Delta Air Lines' DC-9 aircraft, and the first commercial flight occurred between Atlanta and Tampa on October 26, 1993. The airline was the first to launch ticketless travel in 1993.

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