In addition to gaining a point of differentiation in a hyper-competitive category, insurance companies often use sponsorship to accomplish four other marketing objectives.

Promote brand positioning
Whether it’s being in good hands (Allstate) or showcasing their years of experience (Farmers), insurance companies often use sponsorship to support their brand positioning.

State Farm over the past two years has leveraged partnerships with Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and other music festivals with “Here to Help,” a program that offers bottled water, lockers, the opportunity to visit an air-conditioned tent and other amenities to festival-goers. The program supports the 2016 rollout of the insurer’s Here to Help Life Go Right brand refresh.

On the golf front, Farmers Insurance this year launched “Experience Counts: Unbelievable Claims,” a print and digital campaign featuring golf ambassador Rickie Fowler and golf instructor Butch Harmon. Farmers created the campaign to show the parallels between how a golfer can improve his performance by making slight adjustments to his swing and how consumers can enhance their insurance coverage by working with a dedicated Farmers insurance agent.

Farmers is using the campaign to support its “experience” brand message, build authenticity by speaking to golfers about the frustrations of going it alone, and capture content from one of the most popular topics in golf media: how Harmon has helped Fowler’s performance on the green.

Drive agent relationships
State Farm, Allstate and other companies that sell through exclusive agents often use sponsorship to access local engagement opportunities.

Allstate this year has added new deals in soccer to drive engagement at the local level. New ties include the CONCACAF Gold Cup and five MLS clubs, with the goal of expanding its grassroots presence and gaining opportunities for agent involvement in youth soccer organizations.

Companies that sell through independent agents typically use sponsorship to access perks and experiences for internal sales promotions.

Generate leads
Insurance companies often use sponsorship to drive preference and generate leads.

Progressive, for example, leverages its title sponsorship of NMMA boat shows to gain leads, while GEICO uses the NHL to drive calls to its call centers.

Reach potential employees
Employee recruitment plays a key role in insurance sponsorships.

Northwestern Mutual uses the NCAA in part to build exposure in front of student athletes, a demographic it targets for employee recruiting.

The need to hire Millennial employees is paramount for the insurance industry. The average age of insurance agents in the U.S. was 59 in 2015, per a report by McKinsey. The management consulting firm expects one-fourth of the industry’s work force to retire by 2018.