USAA wanted to strengthen the Salute to Service campaign for the 2015 season using NFL players in a new and meaningful way.

Business Problem:

Becoming the first military appreciation sponsor, USAA partnered with the NFL to elevate military appreciation through the Salute to Service (STS) campaign. Each season, NFL players voluntarily demonstrate their support for the military by wearing a military branch sticker on their helmet during STS month. For the 2015 season, USAA wanted a fresh and more personal way for NFL players to connect to the campaign by sharing personal testimonials on the STS website.


The NFLPA connected USAA to a diverse group of NFL players with various military ties and personal stories to share on the “Why We Salute” landing page.


The NFLPA provided player activation services which included developing a customized player research list, extension of offers, contract management, preparation and execution, and management of sponsor deliverables—all for one inclusive cost to the partner.  USAA created a landing page called “Why We Salute” on the Salute to Service website for NFL players. The NFLPA worked with USAA to finalize a list of 32 NFL players. The list included players with different military ties, and collected each player’s personal assets for the landing page, from video messages to photos. In addition, the NFLPA approved all images to be displayed for the players, ensuring proper utilization under USAA’s group player rights.  NFL players further supported the website and program via social media engagement, managed via the opendorse platform.


USAA leveraged their group player rights to incorporate 32 players, their highest player activation to date, to drive more engagement and awareness for the Salute to Service campaign.


Through the NFLPA’s guidance, USAA created a unique integration of group player rights through personalized content of NFL players on their website, player assets and social media. Military service members and fans alike had the ability to learn about 32 different NFL players’ ties to specific military branches through video and photos. Players amplified their involvement in the campaign through social media, driving traffic to the “Why We Salute” website and ultimately driving more awareness for the campaign.



Tags player marketing Salute to Service Military Appreciation

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