Case Studies > United Airlines “Destination: Team USA” Directed By Adam Hootnick


Critically-acclaimed sports filmmaker Adam Hootnick, United Airlines, and Tribeca teamed up to create the documentary film Destination: Team USA, which chronicles the paths of five athletes pursuing Olympic and Paralympic dreams for Rio 2016. This feature-length documentary is the first ever commissioned by an airline, and it communicates each athlete’s metaphoric and physical journey alike – the lifelong paths of their athletic careers and the trips they take via United in their Olympic pursuits.

The film weaves together the stories of these athletes as they attempt to overcome overwhelming odds, sometimes in the form of talented opponents and other times as adversity in their personal lives. A mileage counter tracks their travels over the course of the film.


Destination: Team USA first screened in the most fitting place for a United Airlines-helmed project — hundreds of feet in the air. Passengers on United Flight 408 from Newark to Chicago viewed a surprise premiere of the film in-flight, and joining them on the flight were Adam and one of the film’s stars, Dartanyon Crockett.

“Since our film documents the extraordinary lengths and distances to which these athletes go for their shot at Team USA, I feel it’s somehow appropriate that our film will be seen for the first time by an audience in the middle of a journey of their own,” said Adam. To keep with the theme of flight, partners Coca-Cola and Regal Cinemas distributed the film to theaters near each of the airline’s mainland U.S. hub airports.