Nationwide Strengthens Ties with NFL, Signs On As Official Sponsor

August 5, 2014

Nationwide Insurance announced said it has signed a three-year agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to become an official insurance sponsor of the league. The relationship kicks off this coming season and will run through the 2016 season.

As part of the agreement, Nationwide becomes a founding sponsor of NFL Now, the league’s new digital video service that gives fans personalized reports NFL news and highlights over Internet-connected devices.

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, will also be a presenting sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which honors a player’s charity work and his excellence on the field.

“We’ve made significant media and partnership moves in the NFL space over the past two years to help strengthen our connection with the more than 185 million NFL fans,” said Matt Jauchius, Nationwide’s chief marketing officer. “Adding a league relationship is a natural evolution for Nationwide and will afford us the ability to maximize assets nationally, provide more impactful content and better engage fans across screens.”

As an official sponsor, Nationwide Insurance will be able to feature the NFL shield and the collective marks of all 32 NFL teams in its national marketing and advertising campaigns.

A report by SNL Financial ranked Nationwide sixth in advertising expenditures by property/casualty insurers in 2013 with its $352 million media buy. That was about $50 million more than seventh ranked Farmers Insurance Group but far below top ranked Geico which spent more than $1 billion, according to SNL.

Financial terms of this latest deal are confidential, however, according to Jauchius, the “cost to become an official NFL sponsor is a fraction” of the company’s overall media spend. “This deal is a very efficient and wise investment that maximizes our larger NFL advertising investment,” he said.

Nationwide is already a large NFL media buyer and has existing partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos. In May 2014, the company also signed Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as a company spokesperson.

“This partnership solidifies Nationwide’s NFL marketing platform and allows us to fully leverage our relationship with Peyton as well as the Broncos and the Cowboys,” Jauchius said.

For example, he said, because of this deal, when Nationwide does its promotional activities with Manning this fall, the quarterback will be in his official Broncos uniform. “It will give our advertising and other marketing materials a feel of authenticity. Our research shows that if fans see a player they know in a generic jersey, it takes their attention away from the commercial,” he said.

Also, at the end of Nationwide’s TV ads, consumers will see Nationwide’s brand logo and the NFL shield.

Nationwide also has a marketing relationship with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt and No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team.

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