Insurance and financial giant Mutual of Omaha has dropped its sponsorship of USA Swimming after 15 years, which could cause some major shakeups to USA Swimming’s biggest domestically-hosted events.
The Omaha World-Herald reports that the partnership between USA Swimming and Mutual of Omaha ended with the expiration of a contract between the two at the end of 2016. USA Swimming’s chief marketing officer Matt Farrell said the end of the sponsorship came “out of the blue” and that the two organizations “were well on our way to discussing the future in terms of a renewal” before things took a turn late last year. Farrell’s full quotes, per the World-Herald:
“USA Swimming’s reaction is somewhere between disappointment and disbelief,” said Matt Farrell, chief marketing officer at USA Swimming in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We had an incredible run together,” Farrell said, “and quite frankly we were well on our way to discussing the future in terms of a renewal, and then things took a very surprising turn …
“Their decision to end it came out of the blue.” He said Mutual learned of the decision in late September.
Mutual of Omaha also dropped its four-year sponsorship of an Indycar racing company, another contract that expired in 2016 and was not renewed. According to the Omaha World-Herald, Mutual of Omaha is still sponsoring some professional golfers this year.
“The contracts ended, and that gave us an opportunity to step back and revisit our sponsorship strategy and make sure the sponsorships were meeting our business needs,” Nolan said in the World-Herald piece.
“Both were excellent relationships and did a lot to promote our brand. But it’s not unusual for companies to change sponsorships and seek new opportunities to connect with customers.”
The move could threaten the Duel in the Pool, typically sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. The all-star meet between the United States and Europe takes place in odd-numbered years, and should be set for late 2017. The 2017 version would likely be back in Europe after Indianapolis hosted 2015’s event, but the World-Herald reports that the end of Mutual of Omaha’s sponsorship could “sink” the event.
The World-Herald also suggests the end of the sponsorship could impact the city of Omaha’s chances to host a fourth-consecutive U.S. Olympic Trials event in 2020. Omaha hosted the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Trials, though hosts for 2020 have yet to be announced.