Racing Ahead With Sponsorships and Creating Social Connections
Root Insurance is partnering with NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace, and insurers are accelerating their use of social media marketing to create long-term brand awareness and build trust and credibility with consumers.
- Lori Chordas
- March 2021
Pedal to the Metal
This year ROOT INSURANCE is racing into a new partnership with the 23XI Racing family—a premier NASCAR Cup Series team co-owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and NASCAR star Denny Hamlin.
Photo courtesy of Wesley Walker
Root Insurance joins a list of other high-profile sponsors, including DoorDash, McDonald's, Columbia Sportswear and Dr. Pepper, that have aligned themselves with the team and its driver Bubba Wallace in the No. 23 Toyota Camry.
Root began sponsoring Wallace last year when he drove for Richard Petty Motorsports. During the 2020 season, Wallace had five top 10 finishes and one top 5 finish at Daytona in August. He is currently the only full-time Black American driver in the NASCAR series. He made headlines last year after he began speaking out against racial injustice in the U.S. and called for a ban of Confederate flags at NASCAR events.
“From the moment we got to know Bubba's story and what he stood for, we knew this was much more than an opportunity for a traditional sports sponsorship,” said Kelly Ruoff, Root's chief brand officer. “It was about aligning values and celebrating a commitment to progress. We don't see a lot of brand partnerships like that, and we love that we could break the mold with Bubba.”
Shifting Into Social
Today there are roughly 4.2 billion global social media users, according to Hootsuite. That's creating a gold mine for marketers looking to reach and engage more customers and spread the message about the products and services they provide.
Social media marketing is finding a home in the insurance industry, however, “we're just scratching the surface of its capabilities,” said Craig Welsh, chief distribution and marketing officer at Westfield.
He said a key component to social media marketing's success is content. “To generate attention that leads to outcomes, insurers need to curate valuable content that provides in-depth information around products and services in a way that connects the relevance of insurance to everyday life. Insurance can be difficult to market socially because it's not a tangible product, but the key is helping customers solve problems in a way that conveys the benefits of insurance,” he said.