While the outcome of Anthem Inc.’s proposed $47 billion acquisition remains unclear, one thing is for certain: Cigna Corp. is taking sponsorship to heart.

The health insurance company in 2015 expanded its long-running presenting sponsorship of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend with a similar tie to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.

Next month, Cigna will expand the Disney partnership via proprietary “fun runs” for clients and brokers. The company will host the first run March 19 at the Phoenix Zoo with additional events to follow in New York City and other markets.

Cigna uses sponsorship to support its “Together, All the Way” global brand campaign and its mission of helping consumers improve their health and well-being, with a focus on preventative care.

“This category is shifting due to the Affordable Care Act and other factors. What is necessary now is to make sure customers and the community are aware of not just who you are, but what you stand for and what you do,” said Stephen Cassell, Cigna global branding officer.

“We’re trying to create some clarity for consumers and help them navigate this very complex system.”

While Cigna focuses on running as a global marketing platform (Cigna Round the Bays in New Zealand, etc.), it has not ruled out additional sponsorships. The company was reportedly negotiating a partnership with the NFL in 2015 prior to news of Anthem’s proposed multi-billion dollar acquisition.

“We’re always looking for opportunities where there is a fit with bringing our wellness message alive at the national and international level and where we can connect back to the communities that we work with,” said Cassell, declining to comment about the aborted NFL deal.

More Focus On Pre- And- Post Event Activation
As part of its sponsorship push Cigna is placing more focus on activation programs that amplify its message before, during and after events.

Cigna in January unveiled three activation programs at the Walt Disney World Marathon, all of which were fueled by social media. The programs included three photo ops including a green screen where attendees could have their photo taken running in various locations around the world.

The initiative paid off: Cigna posted a 70 percent increase in the number of engagements over the previous year.

Cigna also unveiled two other enhancements at the Jan. 6-10 event including participation by three TV celebrities (Laura Flores, Aaron Diaz and Uza Aduda) and a mobile wellness van where attendees could have their blood pressure and other health metrics checked.

“Getting people to understand that it only takes 10 minutes to know their numbers is the first step in getting people into a wellness state of mind.”