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Hartford calls for the relief pitchers

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Looking to get back in the marketing game after a few years on the bench, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced a multiyear agreement that will make the company an official sponsor of Major League Baseball.

Kathy Bromage, Hartford, Connecticut-based chief marketing officer, said that while the insurer curtailed sports sponsorships in the wake of the financial crisis, the chance to work with the league and engage retired relief pitchers Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman as spokesmen was too good to pass up.

“We felt it was time to get back to investing in our business and the visibility of our brand,” Ms. Bromage said, noting that the company decided to partner with MLB after exploring a range of options. “The demographics of baseball work really well with people we are trying to reach, such as small-business owners and risk managers at large businesses.”

Accordingly, Hartford will sponsor clinics and engagement events with major league teams, as well as an award recognizing the most outstanding relief pitchers of the season in both the American League and National League.

Ms. Bromage said the choice to focus on relief pitchers was intentional because they, like insurance companies, are only called on in times of need.

“We felt that relievers were a great way to communicate the promise we make to customers to be there when they need us most and help them prevail,” she said.