SBJ/September 3-9, 2012/Olympics

Allstate, official insurer of USOC since 2002, not planning to renew sponsorship

Allstate plans to discontinue its sponsorship of Team USA, becoming the first U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor this year to forgo renewing its partnership.

Sources familiar with the company’s plans said the insurer made the decision before the London Games. The company has been the official insurer of the USOC since 2002. Its deal is valued at $10 million to $15 million over four years.

Allstate and the USOC declined to comment on the company’s renewal plans.

The Chicago-based insurance company has done limited activation around the USOC in recent years. Its primary promotion of the sponsorship was centered on the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, of which it has been the presenting sponsor since 2004. The hall induction event this year took place in Chicago in July. It was taped and broadcast on NBC Sports Network in late August.

During the 2010 and 2012 Olympic years, Allstate didn’t supplement its presenting sponsorship of the hall with an experiential marketing program or Olympic-themed TV advertising. Allstate opted not to buy advertising on NBC during the 2012 Olympics.

The USOC renews most of its sponsors and suppliers during the year a Summer Games is held. In 2008, following the Beijing Games, it struggled with renewals, and several companies, including General Motors, The Home Depot and Bank of America, opted to discontinue their sponsorships.

The USOC has fared much better with renewals in 2012. Allstate is the first of 24 sponsors and suppliers that opted to discontinue its sponsorship. Nike, Oakley, Anheuser-Busch and 24 Hour Fitness all agreed to renew their deals for another four-plus years. The USOC has reached a verbal agreement on a renewal with Hilton Worldwide, as well.

The organization is working on renewals with AT&T, United, TD Ameritrade, Citi and others.

In the wake of Allstate’s decision, the USOC is evaluating how it might reconfigure the insurance category. The organization has looked at selling the life insurance and annuities and auto and home owners categories separately.

Sources said that it has approached Allianz about the life insurance and annuities category. It’s unclear whom it could approach about auto and home owners insurance, but Geico, State Farm and Farmers Insurance have all used sports sponsorships to promote those products.

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