Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey continues to refine its sponsorship strategy as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee is placing more focus on properties that provide access to two key audience segments:  young adults and the uninsured.

“There is a sea change in healthcare becoming more consumer and retail-centric, and we continue to adjust our portfolio to directly engage consumers,” said Jonathon Pearson, Horizon’s director of corporate philanthropy and community affairs and executive director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.

Demonstrating its focus on new audience segments, Horizon last week kicked off a new partnership with the MLS New York Red Bulls and in June will expand its partnership with the MuckFest MS New Jersey mud run from cosponsor to title status.

The company uses the ties to educate consumers about its health care products prior to the Nov. 30th deadline for open enrollment.

“We want to educate people about our products so that they are informed when they are ready to make a purchase.”

Horizon was drawn to the New York Red Bulls due to the team’s large number of Hispanic fans, said Pearson, noting that roughly 42 percent are of Hispanic descent. The company will engage fans through on-site engagement, on-field activities, PR initiatives and involvement with the team’s community outreach programs.

The insurer uses MuckFest to reach young adults, with a focus on consumers in their early to mid-twenties who will be required to have health insurance at the age of 27. Twenty-somethings can remain on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26.

Horizon plans to expand its portfolio with additional properties that provide access to consumers who need or may soon be in need of healthcare insurance.

“We’re exploring other opportunities that help us reach out to consumers throughout New Jersey,” said Pearson, noting that several deals are in the pipeline.

In addition to the New York Red Bulls and MuckFest, Horizon also sponsors The Barclays PGA Tour tournament, the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer tournament and Camden, N.J.’s Adventure Aquarium, among other properties.