Aflac, Coach Deion 'Prime' Sanders and Coach Nick Saban Kick Off College Football Season While Supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities Company and Coaches Share Mutual Commitment to Filling Gaps for Customers and Communities of Color
COLUMBUS, Ga., September 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S., today announced its new partnership with football legend and coach Deion "Prime" Sanders to celebrate the return of college football this fall. In this integrated campaign, Coach Prime, with help from some friends, will remind people that Aflac helps close the gaps for customers with unexpected medical bills that health insurance doesn't cover, while also supporting a shared commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
New Talent: Adding Firepower to Coach Saban's Starpower
In his Aflac debut, Coach Prime stars in three hysterical new ads alongside two fellow legends, Coach Nick Saban and the Aflac Duck. Throughout the series, the two coaches humorously talk about how Aflac has paid billions to policyholders in benefits that help cover the expenses that health insurance doesn't cover, while Coach Prime, in his trademark colorful style, wonders how he can get one of those coveted Aflackets – the distinctive blue Aflac jacket worn by Coach Saban in Aflac commercials.
The first spot "Ready for Prime Time," will debut Aug. 28 during the game between Hawaii and UCLA, airing at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with the second spot, "What it Takes," airing Sept. 4, both on ESPN. The third spot, "Jacket Fitting," premieres later in the year as conference championship games approach.
"Aflac is rooted in caring for people when they need them most, whether through their policies and services or the way they tackle issues that are important to all communities. We share a vision when it comes to supporting HBCUs and, more broadly, communities of color," Coach Prime said. "I like to say that I see myself as standing in the gap between those who need greater support and the institutions that can provide that support. Aflac helps close gaps for their customers who have medical bills that their health insurance doesn't cover, so together, I look forward to working with Aflac, the Aflac Duck and, of course, Coach Nick Saban as we put the ball in the end zone and make a real difference in peoples' lives."
A Shared Focus on Football, HBCUs and Communities of Color
Aflac's partnership with Coach Prime begins this football season and features fan inspiration, messages about being prepared for the unexpected, and collaborative efforts to support communities of color both on and off the field.
Beyond Aflac's consistent donations to HBCU-focused college football events like the Tuskegee-Morehouse Football Classic and the annual Fountain City Classic game, Aflac will also provide a $75,000 donation to the Jackson State University Athletic Department for professional development and be a supporting partner of Deion Sanders' Football Camp.
Aflac has a 20-plus-year history of financially supporting HBCUs and their alumni, including a $1 million commitment to Morehouse School of Medicine.
Communities of Color
In February, Aflac announced a $1.5 billion strategic partnership with SoundPoint Capital Management, which includes a $500 million commitment to Opportunity Zones, designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities. In 2020, Aflac invested $25 million in the Black Economic Development Fund, whose primary objective is to support Black-led financial institutions and anchor institutions and business transactions to strengthen the Black community in rural and urban communities, with an ultimate goal of helping close the racial wealth gap. In addition, since 1997, the company has contributed more than $25 million to minority organizations, including the NAACP, the Urban League, and historically Black fraternities and sororities.
"By partnering with Coach Prime, we will shine a bright spotlight on the rich legacy of HBCU football and the role these amazing colleges and universities play in the lives of so many promising students on and off the field," Aflac Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Shannon Watkins said. "Coach Prime's commitment to HBCUs aligns perfectly with Aflac's desire to help close health and wealth gaps for communities of color. We want to do our part to ensure all communities have equal opportunities to thrive and succeed."
New Media Partnerships and Integrated Campaign
Anchored in new collaborations with ESPN's "College GameDay" Built by The Home Depot and HBCU matchups on ESPN networks and an existing partnership with the SEC, Aflac's integrated campaign, "The Comeback," will reach fans across television, social media, and digital channels and through exciting and engaging live, on-site activations at a variety of games, celebrating the return to fandom and community. Aflac's decision to highlight HBCUs is a natural expansion of the company's long-time commitment to fairness, diversity and inclusion, which are hallmarks of the company's award-winning corporate responsibility and ESG programs.
Aflac's integrated campaign includes a variety of touch points with consumers and benefit decision-makers, including:
- Meeting and greeting a supercharged college football fandom with an authentic television and tailgate presence at marquee HBCU matchups, SEC games, and in-show integrations with ESPN's "First Take" and "The Paul Finebaum Show."
- Influencing lively college football fans online with light-hearted and humorous social media content.
- Challenging and expanding college football fans' knowledge through broadcast, social media and in-stadium integrations of Aflac trivia questions focused on upcoming college football matchups.
"Football is one of America's treasured pastimes – and brands have historically showcased a monolithic view of the college football experience. Aflac is proud to be doubling down on our long-standing commitment to HBCUs and communities of color by closing the gap for those who need it most. HBCUs represent and produce some of the best talent in the world – hall-of-fame coaches, dynamic athletes, award-winning musicians, and alumni leading the public and private sectors and at the highest levels of government. We are excited to welcome and celebrate fans across the entire football landscape back to the game on social media, through activations, on ESPN and through our paid media ads to deliver the message that Aflac cares about all people and that we always have you covered," Watkins said.
In the coming months, Aflac will continue to engage fans with sports-centric experiences and integrations during key college football matchups, including the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff Saturday, Aug. 28, and the Cricket Celebration Bowl Saturday, Dec. 18. Get to know Aflac at Aflac.com.
About Aflac Incorporated
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer, by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. For 15 consecutive years, Aflac Incorporated has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2021, Fortune included Aflac Incorporated on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 20th time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Incorporated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency, for the second consecutive year. To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at Aflac.com or Aflac.com/Espanol.