NASCAR win means much for Aflac

When Carl Edwards won the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, Aflac cheered.

Of course, a victory for someone on Aflac's team is one reason for the company to celebrate. The Columbus-based supplemental insurer is sponsoring Edwards and his No. 99 Ford Fusion for eight NASCAR races this year (the race was his second of the eight).

But it also means more — specifically when it comes to Aflac's sales and marketing efforts.

Having a NASCAR vehicle sporting the Aflac paint scheme helps elevate the Aflac brand, for one.

"When Carl wins, Aflac gets exposure," said Al Johnson, Aflac vice president of marketing services. "With exposure comes a lot of buzz, a lot of discussion about Aflac and about the brand. That's just one part of why we're sponsoring it."

Johnson said they're also in it to drive sales.

"From an employee perspective . . . we hope that there's a sense of pride this morning," Johnson said Monday. "When you talk about a field force that is selling (based on) 100 percent commissions, getting them excited, getting them motivated, showing them we're supporting them . . . goes a long way."

"At the end of the day, the success on the track is not everything," Johnson added. "There has to be that second component, and that's to drive our business on Monday morning when our field force is out there selling our products and services to businesses and consumers."

Read more of this story in Tuesday's Ledger-Enquirer.