Carnival Cruise Line Reveals Major Sports Team Partnership

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Carnival Cruise Line has strengthened its ties with New York City through a multi-year partnership with the New York Jets. The partnership is significant given Carnival Venezia operates out of the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, further intertwining the cruise line with the Big Apple.

The cooperation between Carnival and the New York Jets, a professional American football team, is part of a broader trend of partnerships between cruise lines and sports entities, aiming at mutual brand promotion and enhanced guest experiences.

Fostering Brand Growth

The race is on amongst major cruise lines to set up new partnerships with major sports teams in the United States.

After Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises, and Holland America Line all revealed associations in the last year or so, Carnival Cruise Line announced a new partnership with NFL giants, the New York Jets, on October 13, making the cruise line a “Proud Partner of the New York Jets.” 

The partnership with the New York Jets is perceived as a strategic move for Carnival Cruise Line to expand its brand presence in the New York metropolitan area. 

Carnival and New York Jets Partnership
Carnival and New York Jets Partnership

The new partnership is particularly significant since one of Carnival’s newest cruise ships, the 135,225 gross tons Carnival Venezia, is homeported at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. The new ship offers the cruise line’s “Fun Italian Style” experience, a play on the cruise ship’s history with Italian cruise line Costa Cruises. 

Amy Martin Ziegenfuss, chief marketing officer at Carnival Cruise Line: “At Carnival, we create memorable vacation experiences filled with fun for our guests, and we see the excitement from football fans firsthand when their favorite sport is part of that fun – from our ‘sailgate’ parties to our special big game screenings at our Carnival Seaside Theater.”

“This new partnership is a perfect way to create new opportunities to fuel that enthusiasm since nothing is more fun to football fans than the game itself.”

Carnival Venezia Cruise Ship
Carnival Venezia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mariusz Lopusiewicz / Shutterstock)

Whether guests can take advantage of special deals through the New York Jets or Carnival Cruise Line has yet to be revealed. The cruise line did not specify any specific deals involved with the partnership. However, it will likely extend to various promotional activities, such as Carnival advertisements at the Jets’ games. 

Guests will likely also be able to follow New York Jets games and see promotions tied to the NFL team in the SkyBox Sports Bar onboard Carnival’s ships.

Cruise Industry Partnerships with Sports Teams

The partnership between Carnival and the New York Jets is part of a wider trend within the cruise industry to engage with sports teams and events. 

MSC Cruises initiated a partnership with Formula 1 in 2022 and recently partnered with the Miami Dolphins. Similarly, Royal Caribbean International has a partnership with Inter Miami Football Club

Other cruise lines, like Holland America Line, have also explored partnerships with sports entities. Holland America announced a partnership with the Professional Pickleball Association in December 2022, while Norwegian Cruise Line recently revealed an exclusive partnership with the Miami Marlins.

Carnival Cruise Line has one of the longest histories in sports partnerships. The cruise line has a longstanding relationship with the Miami Heat. Micky Arison, the chairman of Carnival Corporation, owns the NBA team. Since 2019, there has also been a partnership between Carnival and the Harlem Globetrotters. 

Last but not least, one of the most prominent figures in Carnival Cruise Line is its CFO, or Chief Fun Officer. Former NBA Superstar Shaquille O’Neal even has a chicken restaurant on several Carnival cruise ships, Big Chicken.

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