Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
March 31, 2017: Global health service company Cigna, the NHL’s benefits provider for the past 19 years. has expanded it role on ice, signing a deal to become the official health insurance provider for the league in the U.S.
The Bloomfield, Conn.-based firm also becomes the presenting sponsor of the NHL’s Every Save Counts campaign, which is part of the NHL’s annual, year-round Hockey Fights Cancer effort to raise money and awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.
Financial terms of the alliance were not released.
According to Keith Wachtel, evp and chief revenue officer for the NHL, "We welcome Cigna, a leading health care provider, to the (official designation) NHL family and appreciate their support to help enhance the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative."
As part of the sponsorship, Cigna will be engaged in Every Save Counts awareness efforts with NHL teams in ten cities, including working with the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals.
As part of the Every Save Counts program, Cigna will donate $1 to Hockey Fights Cancer for every save made during an NHL game throughout the 2016-17 NHL season, including the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In addition, for every online donation of $25 or more to Hockey Fights Cancer, Cigna will match, dollar for dollar, for a total donation of up to $100,000. All such donations will be received by the National Hockey League Foundation in respect of the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.
An awareness initiative for the Hockey Fights Cancer will last for the rest of this season, then culminate in NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Months in October and November. (Fans are being encouraged to watch for updates in each market to see how they can get involved in the fight against cancer.)
"This platform will reach millions of fans worldwide, allowing us to drive a proactive approach that helps fight cancer, and raises money for cancer research," Stephen Cassell, chief global brand officer for Cigna, said in a statement.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a charitable initiative founded in December 1998 by the NHL and NHL Players’ Assn. It is supported by players, NHL member clubs, NHL alumni, the NHL Officials’ Assn., professional hockey athletic trainers and equipment managers, corporate marketing partners, broadcast partners and fans throughout North America.
To date, through the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, the NHL's U.S. and Canadian charitable foundations, NHL supporters and fans have donated more than $16 million to support national and local cancer research institutions, children's hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.
"For nearly 20 years, the NHL, its member clubs and our great players have taken tremendous pride in our commitment to the fight against cancer," said Wachtel. "This effort has expanded with the incredible support of the entire hockey community, including our amazing fans."
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