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Sun Life a big fan of the exposure Miami football brings

It costs about $7 million a year for Sun Life Financial to have its name on the Dolphins’ stadium, and the insurer’s marketing chief says the investment had paid off. The Canadian company best known for selling life insurance calculates its brand awareness increased significantly in the year since it sealed a five-year deal reportedly worth about $38 million.
Sun Life puts its name on the stadium just weeks before the 2010 Super Bowl was held there, ending LandShark Lager’s brief naming deal with the Dolphins.
“It was very attractive right out of the box,’’ said Bill Webster, Sun Life’s vice president for brand strategy.
Sun Life signed the deal at a time when many financial institutions were backing away from sports deals, out of fear the outlays would seem lavish in the face of financial difficulties. But Webster said Sun Life saw the expenditure as a way to announce its financial strength in contrast to competitors accepting government rescues and otherwise facing problems.
“It’s difficult to accept bailout money, and then put your name on a stadium,’’ Webster said. “The reason that we were comfortable doing it is the very reason others were pulling out.’’

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