Northwestern Mutual Reveals 2013 Marketing Plans for NCAA® Basketball Championships
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SOURCE Northwestern Mutual
Sports Illustrated special edition, NCAA March Madness Live® and event partnerships with the National Association of College Basketball Coaches among new sponsorship elements added to March Madness program
MILWAUKEE, Wis., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwestern Mutual, an official corporate partner of the NCAA®, announced today a robust marketing program to activate around the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's Division I Basketball Tournaments. The company, which initiated its presence around NCAA March Madness® last year, will serve as presenting sponsor of a number of key events supporting the 75th celebration of the competition and sport a significant advertising presence during the month.
"We're excited to increase our brand presence around this season's March Madness," said Conrad York, vice president of marketing. "We've renewed some strategies that were successful last year, while also adding a number of new activities, all with the goals of continuing to build our brand's awareness and provide sports fans opportunities and events that they can be excited about in the spirit of the game."
Increased Media Partnerships Northwestern Mutual is ramping up its advertising presence around the tournament this year on CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV. New this year, the company served as the presenting sponsor of two 75th Celebration programs on CBS, as well as through co-branded "75 Years of NCAA March Madness" vignettes that pay tribute to the great memories around the sport. Significant media support will extend to web and mobile advertising on NCAA March Madness Live®. NCAA March Madness Live® provides unparalleled multi-screen digital access to all 67 games of the NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Additionally, Northwestern Mutual is the exclusive advertiser for Sports Illustrated's special 53rd issue devoted to the 75th celebration of the NCAA Tournament. The issue, which goes on newsstands on March 6, will be distributed to all subscribers across the country and has five regional covers, is full of perspective and analysis of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The issue will feature 20 pages dedicated to Northwestern Mutual, as well as "Planning for Success" advertorial stories covering how key former coaches and players such as Matt Howard, Ulice Payne, Tommy Kearns and others planned for success on and off the court.
For the second straight year, Northwestern Mutual will serve as a presenting sponsor of the First Four® games on truTV, played March 19 and 20 at University of Dayton arena in Dayton, Ohio. Northwestern Mutual will also be the halftime sponsor for the entire women's basketball tournament.
Local Sponsorships The company is sponsoring a number of events during Final Four® weekend benefitting the Coaches vs. Cancer® program, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society® and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. On Friday, April 5, Northwestern Mutual is the title sponsor the 2013 American Cancer Society Coaches' Huddle, a fundraising event in Atlanta including top NCAA men's basketball coaches.
The Northwestern Mutual Road to the Final Four 5K will take place on Saturday, April 6, through the streets of Atlanta, ending outside the Georgia Dome, where the day's semi-finals games will be played. The 5K title sponsorship includes logos on all the runners' T-shirts and race numbers, event marketing materials, on-course signage, and more. Northwestern Mutual is also the presenting sponsor the 4Kay run in New Orleans around the women's championship. Proceeds from the Coaches' Huddle and the Final Four 5K will help fund pediatric cancer research and other American Cancer Society initiatives.
Finally, Northwestern Mutual financial representatives will invite sports fans in their local communities to participate in an exclusive bracket challenge. Playing on their representative's "team," participants can predict how the men's basketball tournament will play out. Winners will have a chance to win a trip to the 2014 Men's Final Four.
Northwestern Mutual announced a corporate partnership with the NCAA in January 2012, including exclusivity in the life insurance, wealth management and retirement planning service categories.
In October, the company announced it had raised more than $200,000 for Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky and Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky by auctioning off commemorative pieces of the floor on which the University of Kentucky (UK) basketball team won the Division I men's basketball national championship. The pieces of the floor have been signed by coach John Calipari. Through its corporate partnership with the NCAA, Northwestern Mutual purchased the floor following the men's basketball tournament at the Superdome in New Orleans.
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