Atlanta, Ga. (March 21, 2005) - Aflac, the leading provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance policies marketed around the workplace, has reached an endorsement deal with PGA Tour golfers Ryuji Imada and Franklin Langham, marking the company's first entry into professional golf as a player sponsor. As part of the pact, Aflac will receive hat, bag and apparel branding for all PGA Tour events that the players compete in. In return, Imada and Langham will make special appearances on behalf of the company.
"These deals fit right in with our marketing strategy," said Al Johnson, second vice president for Branding and Advertising for Aflac. "The fan base for professional golf continues to grow each year and remains one of the most coveted in all of sports. Partnering with two talented players such as Ryuji and Franklin presents us with a significant opportunity to connect to a loyal and knowledgeable audience. This is a natural fit."
Imada, a former All-American at the University of Georgia, is competing in his first full season on the PGA Tour after finishing third on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2004. His season was highlighted by a win at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs and seven Top 10 finishes. Imada is a native of Japan, where Aflac insures one out of four households, making it the largest foreign insurer in the country. He will sport the famous Aflac Duck logo on his bag and hat.
This year will mark Langham's seventh full season on the PGA Tour, where he has career earnings of over $3 million and 12 Top 10 finishes. He spent 2004 on the Nationwide Tour and finished fourth on the money list with a win at the Rheem Classic. Currently, Langham helps organize an "On Course for Kids" charity golf tournament each fall that raises money for the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Langham will compete in Tour events wearing an Aflac-branded shirt.
The multi-year deal was negotiated by Career Sports & Entertainment (CS&E), which handles all of Imada's and Langham's marketing interests.
"Ryuji and Franklin are playing some of the best golf of their careers and will serve as outstanding ambassadors for the company, both on and off the course," said Molly Fletcher, CS&E's senior vice president of Client Representation.
Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and Japan. Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide and pay cash benefits to policyholders unless they chose otherwise. Aflac's products are primarily sold at worksites in the United States. In Japan, Aflac is the largest life insurer in terms of individual insurance policies in force. In January 2005, Aflac was included in Fortune magazine's list of "The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America" for the seventh consecutive year. Aflac has also been included in Forbes magazine's "Platinum 400 List of Best Big Companies in America" for five consecutive years and in Fortune magazine's listing of "America's Most Admired Companies" for four consecutive years. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.
About Career Sports & Entertainment
Atlanta-based Career Sports & Entertainment (CS&E) is a full-service marketing and representation agency dedicated to working with clients in sports and entertainment. CS&E's expertise includes client representation of athletes, coaches, and broadcasters; corporate marketing for Fortune 500 and emerging companies; event services; property consulting; public relations; and entertainment. The world's most recognized faces and brands trust CS&E's comprehensive approach to maximizing all available opportunities across each distinct area of expertise. A sample of CS&E's individual clients includes John Smoltz, Isiah Thomas, Doc Rivers, Paul Silas, Chip Caray, and Ernie Johnson Jr., and corporate clients include BellSouth, The Home Depot, Cingular Wireless, and Kellogg Company, among others. Visit CS&E's web site at www.careersportsentertainment.com.
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