Turkish Airlines opens branded lounge at Borussia Dortmund soccer stadium

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This branded sports lounge case appears in the February 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying, which identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

Besides increasing the floor space of its already enormous departure lounge at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in order to accommodate for the rapid growth of transfer passengers, Turkish Airlines is also using its signature lounge design as a way to add an experiential touch to its sponsorship of German top soccer team Borussia Dortmund.

Turkish Airlines in December last year opened a new branded VIP lounge at Signal Iduna Park, home of German top soccer team Borussia Dortmund. The 430sqm ‘Lounge Dortmund’ can seat up to 200 of the football club’s spectator-box guests and business partners, and has been designed to reflect the atmosphere of the airline’s International CIP Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, featuring spanning arches and rich colour palettes.

As well as comfortable seating areas, guests are provided with an array of food and drink, which include a selection of Turkish desserts, coffees and traditional Turkish tea, served by staff wearing the Turkish Airlines cabin crew uniform, reinforcing the airline experience at the stadium.

Faruk Çizmecioğlu, Chief Marketing Officer of Turkish Airlines, commented on the opening: “With the new Turkish Airlines Lounge we are creating a visible sign of our involvement with the club, right in the stadium.”

The new lounge acts as the first ‘physical’ product of THY’s partnership with Dortmund. Since the beginning of the current Bundesliga season, Turkish Airlines has been the Premium Airline Partner of Borussia Dortmund and flies the team to all international tournaments and matches. The partnership also covers advertising in and outside the stadium, joint promotional activities and events, and an Turkish Airlines B737-900 in Borussia Dortmund livery.

Brand spaces
The Turkish Airlines ‘Dortmund Lounge’ follows a recent trend of airlines opening ‘brand spaces’ at sports venues, as soccer’s huge popularity in much of the world has made it a magnet for international carriers looking to raise their profile.

For example, as part of their sponsorships of major European football teams, Emirates and Delta have opened branded lounges at respectively Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (Real Madrid) and Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC) stadiums, which basically serve as a living, breathing ad for the airlines.

 

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