For the second year in a row, Northwestern Mutual is using the NCAA men’s basketball championship floor to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer. The company, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, acquired the floor following the 2013 tournament and will turn it into souvenir pieces for fans of the national champion University of Louisville Cardinals, with proceeds benefitting Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville.
In a press conference today, Northwestern Mutual announced it will donate the center court logo portion of the floor to the University of Louisville to hang in its basketball arena, the KFC Yum! Center. The rest of the floor will be cut into various sizes that will go on sale to fans this fall.
The company mounted a similar effort in 2012 after the University of Kentucky won the national basketball championship that year, raising more than $200,000 to help the fight against pediatric cancer.
“We take great pride in supporting the communities that we serve and donating the floor to raise funds for pediatric cancer research is a win for everyone involved,” said John Kordsmeier, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “We know how passionate basketball fans are in Kentucky and across the country, and this is a way to get even more people involved in the fight against this devastating disease.”
Proceeds from the sale will specifically help support research being conducted by Kenneth Lucas, M.D., chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Norton Children’s Hospital and division chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation for the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics.
“We’re grateful to Northwestern Mutual for again stepping up to help in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said Thomas D. Kmetz, division president of Women’s and Children’s services and president, Norton Children’s Hospital. “This support will provide much needed dollars as our specialists work on ground-breaking research that has the potential to help thousands of children.”
University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has agreed to autograph 1,000 of the souvenir pieces to raise even more money for the cause.
“As exciting as it was for us to win the national championship this year, it’s also exciting to be part of this effort to raise money for cancer research,” said Pitino. “It’s all about giving back to the community, and Northwestern Mutual is providing a great example of how to be a good corporate citizen.”
Since 2012, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation in addition to Northwestern Mutual employees, financial representatives and community supporters have contributed $1.4 million in the fight against childhood cancer, which includes helping more than 200 families travel and stay together during their children’s cancer treatments and funding nearly 13,000 hours of critical research projects.
Details of the floor sale will be announced late this summer.
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is among the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2013 according to FORTUNE magazine and has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 156 years. As a mutual company with $1.4 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.
About the Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the largest corporate foundation in Wisconsin, is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation’s giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2013, the Foundation will contribute $16.9 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.
NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.