ATLANTA (AP)—The insurance firm Aflac is sponsoring the Heisman Trophy next season.
The company said Friday it will offer its key accounts and brokerage partners access to Heisman-themed events. The vice president of sponsorships and emerging markets says the company is working with major universities to line up the events.
Vice president Danny Fleishman says the company is honored to be partnered with the Heisman and he is excited about the future of the sponsorship. Fleishman says the Heisman Trophy Trust and Aflac have a mutual level of respect.
A mutual level of respect, indeed: One evokes a 76-year-old legacy of mahogany-paneled excellence, the other evokes a spokesduck that has been cruelly bred to communicate a single word and introduce trivia questions. (As well as, more recently, with inappropriate jokes about the Japanese tsunami.) A match made in corporate heaven.
The official press release from Aflac sheds precious little light on the details of the multi-year arrangement, but based on the Heisman's previous arrangements with the likes of Suzuki and Nissan, we will be mercifully spared the indignity of "the Heisman Trophy presented by Aflac" after a relentless, season-long advertising campaign. (Not that Aflac lacks exposure during college football broadcasts, anyway. If anything, I suspect you might want to bone up on your Heisman history for this year's trivia breaks.) And let's face it, as indignities go, the trophy has seen worse. As long as the duck doesn't go all Billy Sims during the ceremony, it will survive.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.