May 20, 2011: Aflac recently made headlines when it dropped Gilbert Gottfried as the long-time voice of its iconic duck spokesman.
The insurance firm is making headlines again, this time by adding its voice to one of the most iconic awards in sports.
Aflac has signed a multi-year deal to sponsor the Heisman Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the top player in college football.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The alliance begins with this year's college football season, which will culminate with the 77th awarding of the Heisman in December.
Aflac is expected to support with multi-media marketing. A TV spot would feature the new voice of the duck, Daniel McKeague, who began verbalizing, "Aaaflaack" in May. In addition, the company said it would offer an "array of exclusive, Heisman-themed experiences to its accounts and brokers."
The 2011 Heisman Trophy, under the auspices of the Heisman Trophy Trust, will be broadcast from New York on ESPN.
Other marketing partners include Nissan and Wendy's.
"We know our accounts, agents, and brokers are passionate about the game, so we are excited and honored to team up with this coveted award, which recognizes the most outstanding college football player in the U.S. and represents the pursuit of excellence," Michael Zuna, svp and CMO for Aflac, said in a statement.
"As the recognized leader in supplemental insurance, Aflac goes the distance offering insurance policies that help provide a safety net so people can focus on recovery, not financial stress – to help get our policyholders back in the game as soon as possible."
"We know our accounts, agents, and brokers are passionate about the game, so we are excited and honored to team up with this coveted award."
The first Heisman Trophy was awarded to Jay Berwanger, a running back out of Chicago, in 1935. The 2010 winner was Cam Newton, quarterback out of Auburn.
According to William J. Dockery, president of the Heisman Trophy Trust, "Both the Heisman Trophy and Aflac epitomize excellence and integrity in their respective fields. The Heisman Trophy Trust is pleased and proud to welcome Aflac to its elite fraternity of partners. Aflac's contribution will assist the Heisman Trust in funding its charitable mission."