Hmm: Delta Hires Tom Brady As Strategic Advisor


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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?

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