'Always Thinking Ahead' to the Final Four® and Beyond...
The Hartford Partners with NCAA®, CBS to Promote Financial Planning to College Sports Fans HARTFORD, Conn. -The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) is harnessing the wide appeal of NCAA championships to showcase its mutual funds in a new national campaign tailored to people planning their financial future.
As the newest Official Corporate Partner of the National College Athletic Association, The Hartford, in a deal announced today with the NCAA and CBS Sports, joins an esteemed group of partners that includes Cingular Wireless, Coca Cola, General Motors, Kraft and Monster. The partnership takes effect immediately and encompasses a wide range of joint marketing efforts. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"We're proud to partner with CBS Sports to support the NCAA, one of the nation's oldest, largest and most respected athletic organizations, whose student-athletes embody the talent, team work and commitment to excellence that is shared by everyone at The Hartford," said Ann B. Glover, The Hartford's senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "Our ads will send a powerful message that a family's future can be made more secure through sound financial planning, the counsel of a trusted advisor, and mutual funds from The Hartford."
The Hartford will launch its NCAA partnership activities beginning March 1 with a full schedule of television, cable and print advertising to capitalize on the excitement of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Throughout "NCAA March Madness," The Hartford's advertising will be prominent on CBS during every round, including the Men's Final Four and the championship game on April 5. Under the terms of the partnership, The Hartford gains advertising, marketing, promotional and licensing rights at a total of 88 NCAA national championships in 23 sports, including women's basketball, baseball, hockey and golf.
Building upon its Always Thinking Ahead campaign created by Boston-based Arnold Worldwide, The Hartford's 2004 paid media effort capitalizes on the popular appeal of NCAA athletics to emphasize the choices people face when planning for their financial future. The Hartford's new television spot, Stadium, was filmed in February 2004 in Los Angeles by award winning director Kieran Walsh.
"Our ad brings home the message that even at a family outing, in this case at a stadium, life can trigger unexpected reminders that The Hartford's family of mutual funds can help people think ahead to their future," Glover added.
The Hartford's new print advertising, produced with approval from the NCAA, features the popular tournament "brackets." The ad makes its debut in the March 1 issue of the Wall Street Journal. In successive insertions, the names of winning teams will be filled in on the road to the championship game.
"The Hartford is an outstanding addition to the NCAA Corporate Partner Program, and we look forward to a partnership that will surely accentuate the positives of collegiate sport," said Tom Jernstedt, NCAA executive vice president. "The addition of The Hartford as a partner again shows the commitment of the NCAA and CBS to align with industry leaders that believe in the values and mission of the Association."
"CBS Sports is pleased to welcome The Hartford as the newest member of the NCAA Corporate Partner team," said Sean McManus, president, CBS Sports. "They are a proven winner in the financial services industry, and a perfect fit to take advantage of the tremendous value of a comprehensive and integrated arrangement with CBS and the NCAA."
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 360,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Division I, II and III sports. For more information, go to www.ncaa.org.
The Hartford is one of the nation's largest investment and insurance companies, with 2003 revenues of $18.7 billion. The company is a leading provider of investment products, life insurance and group benefits; automobile and homeowners products; and business property-casualty insurance. The Hartford's Internet address is www.thehartford.com.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2002 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.
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