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Northwestern Mutual announces multi-year NCAA partnership with Turner Sports and CBS Sports

Northwestern Mutual announced today it has signed on to become the newest official corporate partner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through a deal with CBS Sports and Turner Sports.

Under the terms of the agreement, Northwestern Mutual will gain NCAA marketing and promotional rights in the life insurance, wealth management and retirement planning services categories, as well as usage of the NCAA approved trademarks and logos for 89 championships across 23 sports.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company– Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance company in 2011 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual seeks to share its gains, where possible, with policyowners and deliver consistent and dependable value to clients over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurancelong-term care insurance,disability insuranceannuitiesinvestment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

Through the partnership, Northwestern Mutual will reach consumers through a cross-platform of media channels, including television, digital, and social media. In addition, the company will team up with athletics departments on multiple college campuses and host career recruitment events and coaches’ clinics.

Northwestern Mutual – the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance company in 2011, according to FORTUNE®magazine – will kick off the partnership with a visible role during 2012’s NCAA March Madness®televised on TBS, CBS, truTV and TNT. This includes media rights to the presenting sponsorship of the telecast of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament First Four® games, televised on truTV, in-game telecast graphic enhancements during the Tournament, and custom in-studio videos to air within Tournament game coverage. 

“Northwestern Mutual is proud to enter into this partnership with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports to support young men and women who combine the pursuit of excellence in athletics with a drive for higher education,” said John E. Schlifske, chairman and CEO of Northwestern Mutual. “This partnership is a natural fit for Northwestern Mutual because we already invest in education.”

Not only does the partnership allow Northwestern Mutual to reach NCAA supporters, who are often the same demographic as many Northwestern Mutual clients and prospects, the NCAA mission to be an integral part of higher education and to focus on the development of student-athletes aligns well with Northwestern Mutual’s ongoing support of higher education. In the last five years alone, Northwestern Mutual has donated more than $11.5 million to higher education institutions through matching gifts.

The media exposure provided with the new partnership will also help Northwestern Mutual achieve its goal to recruit thousands of new financial representatives and financial representative interns in 2012.

“We’re thrilled to add Northwestern Mutual to the NCAA corporate partner family,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA interim executive vice president of championships and alliances. “As an official NCAA corporate partner, Northwestern Mutual joins an elite family of corporations that support 89 NCAA championships in 23 sports and importantly, they help promote the importance of student-athlete excellence in competition, the community and the classroom. Northwestern’s partnership certainly stands to further the NCAA mission of helping student-athletes become leaders in society.”

“We're excited about working with Northwestern Mutual, a great iconic brand, which shares the core values of the NCAA,” said Will Funk, senior vice president of NCAA Partnerships and Branded Programming within Turner Sports Ad Sales. “We’ve built a comprehensive customized activation plan across March Madness television, digital and mobile which will showcase and integrate Northwestern Mutual into the fabric of the Turner/CBS coverage. We’ve also created unique grass roots marketing opportunities for the Northwestern Mutual financial advisors to get involved at the local level across all 89 NCAA Championships including the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, College World Series, Frozen Four, Lacrosse Championships, College Cups and many others taking place at over 800 sites across the country.”

“All of us at CBS Sports, along with our partners at Turner, are pleased to welcome Northwestern Mutual to the NCAA Corporate Marketing family,” said Chris Simko, Senior Vice President, CBS Sports Sales and Marketing. “The goal of our program has always been to align blue-chip companies with the NCAA’s mission of creating opportunities for student-athletes and preparing them for life. Northwestern Mutual’s unparalleled track record of managing clients’ financial risk while also providing long-term educational support and security is a perfect fit.”

The NCAA has a multi-media agreement with both CBS and Turner Sports under which they collaborate with the NCAA to offer the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.