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Insurance Marketing
Insurers Up Their Game to Expand Their Brands by Partnering With Sports Teams

Aflac teamed up with two football legends to talk about its mission, and Gainbridge’s name is now part of two basketball teams’ home arena.
  • Lori Chordas
  • November 2021
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Aflac's Ads Feature Nick Saban, Deion Sanders and Support Commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The AFLAC Duck is flying into America's favorite pastime once again with three TV spots that feature the company's iconic feathered brand ambassador alongside two football legends, Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion “Prime Time” Sanders, head coach at Jackson State University, and Nick Saban, head coach at The University of Alabama.

Photo courtesy of Aflac

Photo courtesy of Aflac

The campaign introduces Sanders, who along with Saban and the Aflac Duck remind individuals that Aflac helps close the gaps for customers with unexpected medical bills that health insurance doesn't cover.

The new ads also support the insurer's shared commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 107 institutions of higher learning established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that primarily serve the Black population.

Since its founding in 1955, Aflac has had “a long track record of giving back to the communities we serve, communities of color and Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Aflac Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Shannon Watkins. The company provides financial support to HBCU and their alumni and has made donations to HBCU-focused college football events such as the annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Football Classic and the annual Fountain City Classic game between Albany State University and Fort Valley State University. Recently, Aflac announced that it will donate $75,000 to the Jackson State University Athletic Department for professional development and will become a supporting partner of Sanders' Football Camp.

Home Court Advantage: Gainbridge Secures Naming Rights Agreement to Indiana's NBA and WNBA Venue

The home arena of Indiana's men's and women's professional basketball teams has been renamed Gainbridge Fieldhouse in a new partnership with the direct annuity distributor.

Indianapolis-headquartered GAINBRIDGE secured through the multiyear naming rights agreement a new avenue to expand its brand, parent Group 1001 said in a statement.

The National Basketball Association's Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Fever, a part of the Women's National Basketball Association, are based at the venue.

“It really is the 'fieldhouse of the future,' where we'll be hosting a wide range of … sports and entertainment events with new and improved space, infrastructure and technology,” Group 1001 President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Towriss said in a statement.

Naming rights and other marketing partnerships are popular with insurers in the United States and globally at varying levels.

American Family Insurance acquired the naming rights in 2019 to Miller Park, home to Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers.

American Family Chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel said the deal was a smart marketing investment.

State Farm in 2018 scored naming rights to the home stadium of the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals on the heels of a similar agreement with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

—Renée Kiriluk-Hill

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

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