Best's Review


Insurance Marketing
Sponsorship Deal With PGA Continues; Insurance Advertisers’ Overall Spend Dipped Slightly in 2020

American Family Insurance extends its PGA Tour tournament sponsorship, and sectors like life insurance saw a drop in advertising spending last year during the pandemic while auto insurers slightly increased their spend.
  • Lori Chordas
  • September 2021
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Seven More Years

AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE has extended its title sponsorship of the American Family Insurance Championship tournament—one of the premier events on the PGA Tour Champions schedule—through 2027.

Also during that time, the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation will remain as the host organization of the event. The foundation was established in 2013 to support charities, educational initiatives and organizations aimed at building strong families and healthy kids and empowering them to chase and achieve their dreams.

The championship began in 2016 and is played annually in Madison, Wisconsin. Since its inception, the tournament and associated events held in Madison in conjunction with the event, including a concert and a charity run, have raised $10.2 million for the American Family Insurance Children's Hospital and hundreds of other nonprofit organizations.

COVID'S Impact on Advertising Spend

COVID-19 has caused a considerable drop in advertising spending across many nations and industries. But while it's difficult to determine the overall impact the pandemic has had on insurers' advertising spend, the industry across several major lines of business saw only a slight decrease in overall spend last year to $4.6 billion from $4.7 billion in 2019, according to media intelligence firm Kantar Media.

Advertising spend among life insurers in 2020 dropped to $163 million from $216 million the prior year, and those in the homeowners and personal property space also spent fewer dollars on advertising, from $626 million in 2019 to $429 million last year, Kantar reports. But insurers in the medical and dental insurance sector held their spending relatively steady at $1.17 billion from $1.16 billion in 2019, and those in the auto insurance sector slightly increased their spend from $2.7 billion in 2019 to slightly more than $2.8 billion last year, according to Kantar.

This year, Geico, which once again leads the pack of auto insurance advertisers, has during this year's first quarter already spent more than one-third ($300 million) of the $848 million total spent on advertising last year. McKinney, Texas-based Globe Life, however, has already surpassed last year's ad spend at nearly $12 million from $10 million spent over 12 months last year, according to Kantar.

Despite a slight overall decline in advertising spending last year in industries like insurance, this year global advertising sales across various sectors are projected to rise 14% to $657 billion, according to media investment and intelligence firm Magna. In the U.S. alone, advertising spending, Magna projects, could reach a new all-time high of $259 billion, up 12.5% from 2020.

Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at

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