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Golf legend Gary Player to become Humana spokesman in healthy living push

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Gary Player

Humana just sent out a news release announcing a deal with legendary golfer Gary Player.

In the three-year partnership, Player and Humana will “promote lifelong well-being and healthy living through proper diet and exercise, as well as plans to help address the increasing challenges of childhood obesity.”

In the deal, Player will serve as a spokesman for the Louisville-based health care giant.

The deal appears to start with Player’s involvement in the Humana Challenge from January 14 through January 20, in La Quinta, Calif.

(This was the Bob Hope Invitational until 2011, when Humana bailed out the financially struggling tournament, renaming it the Humana Challenge.)

Sponsored by Humana and the William J. Clinton Foundation, the PGA TOUR event raised more than $2 million for charity in the tournament’s inaugural year and was named “Sports Event of the Year” by the Sports Business Journal, according to the Humana release.

From the release:

“I look forward to a lasting, long-term relationship with Humana and the Humana Challenge,” said Player, who has won more than 165 professional tournaments worldwide, including nine major championships, and is one of only five individuals to win the coveted Grand Slam of golf. The Humana partnership represents a special addition to Player’s 2013 milestone year that includes his 60th anniversary as a professional and the 30th anniversary of his philanthropic endeavor, The Player Foundation.

The release notes that 77-year-old Player – one of the world’s Top-10 money earners in golfing history – has been a global proponent of healthy living through proper diet and exercise. Player is ranked No. 8 on Golf Digest’s list of Top 50 career earners on the five global professional golfers’ tours including the PGA.

Humana has been leading a cooly received campaign to try to change American health behavior.

Last May, the insurer/health care provider released an “Unhealthy State of the Union” report that found:

• Only 26 percent of Americans eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day (the 3-to-5 axiom being the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and others.)

• Only 14 percent of Americans eat 3 to 5 servings of fruit a day

• One in 10 Americans has four or more meals from a fast-food restaurant in the course of one week.

• Working moms are more likely (58 percent) to participate in regular daily physical activities (e.g. taking walks, using stairs, going to a gym) than working dads (37 percent).

• Four in five Americans say they would choose receiving $5,000 over losing 10 pounds.

The conclusion (sit down for this):  ”Americans know how to make healthy choices, but still do not make them.”

We’re thinking Gary Player does a lot better on a day-to-day basis.

About Humana: Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health-care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.

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