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Delta Air Lines hopes to be a good sport in L.A.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant speaks to fans after the last NBA basketball game of his career against the Utah Jazz. Delta Air Lines ran its first L.A.-specific ad during the game's broadcast.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant speaks to fans after the last NBA basketball game of his career against the Utah Jazz. Delta Air Lines ran its first L.A.-specific ad during the game’s broadcast.

(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

In the battle to become Los Angeles’ favorite air carrier, Delta Air Lines is trying to win over Angelenos through our love of sports.

The Atlanta-based carrier is the second most popular airline at Los Angeles International Airport, behind American Airlines. With its big-spending business executives and Hollywood celebrities, Los Angeles has become a coveted market for the nation’s airlines.

During the television broadcast of NBA star Kobe Bryant’s last game with the Lakers, Delta aired its first L.A.-specific television commercial, with the tag line “Dream Up, L.A..” The ad was narrated by actor Donald Sutherland.

For hockey fans, Delta is offering free early-boarding privileges to any passenger who shows up at LAX wearing Los Angeles Kings gear. The offer lasts throughout the Kings’ NHL playoff run and includes all Kings gear, including hats and jerseys.

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“In our relentless pursuit to become the airline of choice for Angelenos, Delta is committed to the entities and organizations that are vital to sustaining the city’s important sports and entertainment industries,” said Ranjan Goswami, Delta vice president of sales for the West.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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