Get ready for tip off. Sun Life Financial is set to offer brokers a new place to take employer clients and employees — the NBA basketball court. In a partnership opportunity that company executives say is meant to draw attention to its voluntary products, brokers can take clients to Q&As with NBA players and charity projects where NBA players will also be present.
“The league is immediate elevation,” says Sally Bray, Sun Life’s director of brand advertising. “We wanted something with a national appeal and connection that will create differentiating experiences for brokers.”
Bray says the charities will take place in six or seven markets throughout the country that have not yet been released. The Q&As, which the company will call Chalk Talks, will take place in more markets but those were also not disclosed at this time.
This is not the first time Sun Life has joined hands with the NBA. The Wellesley, Mass.-based company has had a relationship with the Boston Celtics for several years that includes naming rights on the team’s VIP social club at the stadium, courtside seats for certain brokers and a ball kit experience for a broker and say, his child, to have access to the team’s warm-up time. Bray says the results in Boston were positive — brokers had a place to network with business leaders, small business owners and influencers in the community — and so the company wanted to replicate it.
“The opportunities to integrate [the NBA] are endless, they’re a global company,” Bray says.
It is also not the first time a carrier has partnered with a sports organization. The Hartford has sponsored the U.S. Paralympics since 2003 and according to their website, aims for the partnership to “demonstrate our commitment to helping individuals and businesses break through limitations to achieve greatness.”
Bray says, for Sun Life, the decision for them was the opportunity to have a national platform for local and regional events: “that’s key for us to get into a market and get passion.”
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