SBD/January 6, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Northwestern Mutual Signs Four-Year Deal As New NCAA Partner

Northwestern Mutual's new agreement extends through the end of '14
Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual has “brokered a deal through CBS Sports and Turner Sports to become an official corporate partner of the NCAA, representing the life insurance, wealth management and retirement-planning services categories,” according to Anthony Crupi of AD WEEK. The company replaces The Hartford in the category, and the new agreement “extends through the end of 2014.” The deal “provides exclusive marketing and promotional rights in the three relevant categories, as well as usage of all NCAA-approved trademarks and logos.” Financial terms were not disclosed, but the average corporate partner “invests around $7.5 million per year for the rights to team up with the NCAA” (, 1/6). In Milwaukee, Paul Gores reports Northwestern Mutual's new ad campaign supporting the sponsorship “will be unveiled during this year's men's Division I NCAA basketball tournament, kicking off the first national sports marketing sponsorship in company history.” Northwestern Mutual said that while 60-second commercials during the tournament “will be the highest profile part of the campaign,” the deal also will “allow it to build its brand amid nearly 90 other championships in various collegiate sports.” Northwestern Mutual VP/Marketing Conrad York said that the company “will have a big presence this year at the national Women's Softball Championship in Oklahoma City, the Women's Volleyball Championship in Louisville and the College World Series in Omaha.” Gores notes marketing will be “in various formats besides TV, including digital, print and social media.” Northwestern Mutual said that it also “will team up with athletic departments on college campuses and host career recruitment events and coaching clinics” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/6).
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