Northwestern Mutual Boosts Sports Portfolio, Stops To Smell The Rose Bowl 
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 04:24PM in College, College football, ESPN, NCAA, Northwestern Mutual, Rose Bowl, sports marketing

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May 14, 2014: Northwestern Mutual has expanded its reach in college sports by becoming the presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl game.

The pact begins with the Jan. 1, 2015 game and runs through 2020. Financial terms were not released.

The alliance is part of what was called "an expansive partnership" with ESPN, which has an exclusive broadcast deal with the NCAA for the Rose Bowl, a vast array of college football Bowl games and the majority of the BCS playoff and national championship games through 2025.

Northwestern Mutual's deal also includes positioning across ESPN's coverage of 23 college sports championships.

The insurance company replaces electronics company Vizio, which had been title sponsor since the 2011 Rose Bowl Game, and was also title sponsor of the BCS National Championship Game, played in the Rose Bowl this past January.

Northwestern Mutual has been an NCAA Corporate Partner since 2012 in a deal that currently runs through Aug. 31, 2020.

"As a company that has helped Americans achieve financial security for nearly 160 years, we have enormous respect for the [Rose Bowl] game's historic place in college sports," John Schlifske, chairman and CEO for Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement. "This sponsorship is a natural fit for our company, because many of our clients and prospects follow college sports and many of Northwestern Mutual's top financial representatives are former NCAA student-athletes."

"As a company that has helped Americans achieve financial security for nearly 160 years, we have enormous respect for the Rose Bowl's historic place in college sports."

Northwestern Mutual will have ad inventory throughout the Rose Bowl Game telecast, each of the other "New Year's Six" Bowls and the CFB National Championship, according to ESPN.

The larger deal with ESPN includes on-air presenting sponsorship of 20 men's and women's NCAA championships, where Northwestern Mutual will have exclusivity in the life insurance, retirement planning, wealth management, financial planning and mutual fund categories.

In addition, the company will have a "strong advertising presence across ESPN's leading digital properties," including mobile and Watch ESPN, as well as exposure throughout ESPN's year round college football content.

According to Rich Chinen, 2015 Tournament of Roses president. "As two organizations with deep longevity and strong commitment to the public, the Tournament of Roses Assn. welcomes the opportunity to enhance the strength and tradition of 'The Granddaddy of Them All' as one of the top collegiate events of the year with such a great organization as Northwestern Mutual."

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