NBA Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal and Derek Jeter, the retired New York Yankees shortstop and 14-time All-Star, future Hall of Famer are the latest legendary sports figures to become spokespersons for property/casualty insurers.
American Family Insurance signed Jeter as its newest “brand ambassador.” The General, a Tennessee-based nonstandard auto insurance provider owned by American Family, signed O’Neal, its first real-life brand ambassador.
O’Neal and Jeter follow the likes of Peyton Manning, the former Denver Broncos quarterback, who Nationwide signed to a highly successful advertising campaign beginning in 2014.
American Family Chief Marketing Officer Telisa Yancy said that Jeter’s “story” and “his will to compete and win with dignity at the highest level is legendary” and a good fit for the insurer.
“He’s a recognizable figure not only in the sports world but also in the business and philanthropic world,” Yancy said in prepared remarks. (Jeter is also a businessman and philanthropist).
Plans for Jeter to partner with American Family “on brand ambassador” opportunities leading up to his 2020 admission into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 2020. This is the first partner Jeter signed with since he retire, and he joins other American Family spokespersons including Kevin Durant, Steve Stricker, Jessie Vetter, J.J. Watt and Kathy Ireland.
The 7-foot-, 1-inch O’Neal, meanwhile, will represent The General in television commercials and in various digital media channels. He’ll join the 4-foot, 9-inch General mascot and his signature red convertible, and the campaign will launch in the summer.
John Hollar, The General’s chief operating officer and president, said that O’Neal’s “authentic, friendly and welcoming nature” were a good fit with the company and its customers.
“While Shaq and The General have some obvious physical difference, their personalities make for a dynamic duo to represent our company,” Hollar said in prepared remarks.
O’Neal, meanwhile, said in prepared remarks that he was a customer of The General when in college.
The General primarily sells its products online and through call centers, independent agents, partners and American Family insurance agents. It is active in 44 states and plans to be national by 2017.
Sources: American Family, The General