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Wisconsin company’s endorsement deal with Seahawks’ Wilson is a PR dream

Sometimes public relations professionals work long hours to produce campaigns, craft precisely worded news releases, and hit “send” on messages at just the right moment for businesses. Other times their charismatic, performance driven and kind-hearted football-player endorser leads his team to the Super Bowl and their story tells itself … with thousands of media along for the ride, of course.

If you’ve heard the wonderful things Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson has said about Wisconsin, you’d never know he spent just one year in the state.

The Dairy State should consider Wilson a PR coup. In that year, a hard-working, cordial University of Wisconsin quarterback embraced a university, state and business community, and they have responded in turn.

Now in his second season with the Seahawks, the third-round NFL Draft pick will lead his team onto the field at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Sunday, to meet the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Few are giddier than Badgers fans and a Midwest insurance company that couldn’t quite say goodbye after Wilson graduated from college.

Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance signed Wilson to an endorsement deal in January 2013. The team produced commercials and a complementary smartphone app that marries Wilson’s championship dreams with American Family’s mission to protect the visions and aspirations of its clients.

It’s one thing for a company to sign an athlete to an endorsement contract and air promos during the football season. Consider it icing and a result of the hard work and dream driving that resonates in the duo’s messages that Wilson’s Seahawks earned a berth to the Super Bowl. In fact, the company will roll out a new commercial that debuts Sunday in 68 television markets located primarily in the Midwest.

“Russell personifies what our brand stands for. He is an inspiration for dreamers everywhere and we are honored to tell his story in a way that will inspire others to work hard to pursue their dreams and allow American Family Insurance to protect them,” said Myles Romero, American Family Insurance Director of Advertising.

Romero said that its message to viewers is that while American Family has grown and the brand evolved, it can still help champion dreams and be a resource for a “first brave step.”

The commercial is just one element of a multi-media campaign that further expands on American Family’s and Wilson’s message and story. The company will have an active social media presence during the Super Bowl.

“We’ll be interacting with others on Facebook and Twitter throughout the game, allowing us to continue the conversation even after our last commercial has aired,” Romero said.

Followers may use the hashtag #longlivedreams.


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