United Airlines makes super heroes of Olympians and employees

United Airlines, in celebration of Team USA’s participation in the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea, is shining a spotlight on Olympians and its own employees in a new campaign that makes both into super heroes.

The campaign, titled ‘Superheroes,’ highlights the 38-year relationship between the airline and the United States Olympic Committee. It shows off the ‘powers’ necessary to get to the games – whether that’s the exceptional athletic skills of Team USA athletes or the hard work of United employees responsible for flying the team and customers to the moments that matter most.

‘Superheroes’ celebrates the six US Olympic and Paralympic athletes sponsored by United and their extraordinary moves on the slopes and ice, as well as six United employees selected to represent the 90,000 United team members who get customers to their destinations safely and comfortably.

“The tie between superheroes and Team USA athletes is clear – they are regular people who use their exceptional talents to accomplish the incredible,” said Mark Krolick, vice president, marketing at United Airlines. “For close to four decades, our employees have called upon their unique skills – transporting hundreds of thousands of customers every day, while working in rapidly changing weather conditions and providing exceptional service – to give the ‘power of flight’ to Team USA athletes, getting them to competitions around the globe.”

The two spots highlight athletes and employees being transformed, in somewhat cartoonish fashion, to superheroes, with special suits and skills – though the gift of flight is provided by the airline rather than fictional super powers.

Team USA athletes include: Air Raider, aka 2014 Olympic silver medalist freeskier Gus Kenworthy; Arctic Angel, aka snowboarder and 2014 Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson; Ice Lightning, aka silver and bronze speedskater J.R. Celski; The Rocket, aka 2014 Olympic bronze medalist luger Erin Hamlin; King Quad, aka figure skater Nathan Chen; The Fury, aka two-time sled hockey Paralympic gold medalist Nikko Landeros.

United employees include Sky Runner, aka pilot Nancy Barteczko; Departicus, aka customer service representative Lemont Penn; Winged Wonder, aka flight attendant Karla Gonzales De La Torre; Agent Cargo, aka ramp/baggage worker Craig Cosentino; Storm Tamer, aka Michael Murgaditchian, an operations expert; and Directionator, aka wingwalker Michael Turner.

To help bring the super story to life, United and agency Mcgarrybowen worked with Hollywood director Martin Campbell (‘Green Lantern’ and GoldenEye’) and music composer Brian Tyler (‘The Avengers’ and ‘Iron Man’).

As the official airline of Team USA, United flies athletes, and their equipment and gear and maintains reservations agents dedicated to Team USA’s travel needs.

The campaign will appear on television, online, in print and outdoor, in airports and on board United aircraft throughout the Olympic Games. See the ads by clicking the Creative Works box below.

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