After 40 years, Alaska Airlines will no longer sponsor the Iditarod

(AP Photo/Al Grillo)

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaska Airlines says it will no longer sponsor the Iditarod after doing so for decades.

Alaska Airlines released the following statement:

“We have been part of the Iditarod for more than 40 years and are proud of our sponsorship, which was focused on dog health and safety. As we transition to our new corporate giving strategy, LIFT, with an emphasis on creating opportunities for young people in the communities where we fly, this is a good time to evaluate our sponsorships and make adjustments. As such, we are going to sponsor the 2020 race, giving the Iditarod Trail Committee time to secure new sponsors. We wish the best to the new Iditarod leadership team and the safe running of future races for both dogs and mushers.”

As part of its sponsorship, Alaska Airlines presents the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award to one musher for providing exemplary dog care.

Additionally, Alaska Airlines provides air transportation and dog-care supplies for 45 Iditarod veterinarians who come to Alaska from across the United States to care for the race dogs' health and safety.

Monday People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a press release saying “PETA is sending the company a box of delicious dog-shaped vegan chocolates” after news broke about Alaska Airlines no longer sponsoring the world-famous sled dog race.

The Iditarod Trail Committee released the following statement:

"For the past 40 years, we have had the pleasure of having Alaska Airlines as a valued partner of the Iditarod. As a longtime partner, Alaska Airlines has been not only integral in the function of our race and how we transport race personnel and supplies from point A to point B, but being a part of making the race into what it is today. The Iditarod, and its partners, are committed to Alaska and the strong bond and advocacy for the Alaska sled dog.

While Alaska Airlines is moving into its new corporate giving strategy that was launched in 2019, they have continued to provide support for the 2020 race as we work to secure new sponsorship. We appreciate Alaska Airlines and thank them for 40 years of support."

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