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Russell Wilson signs on with American Family Insurance, joins three other accomplished dreamers in Super Bowl commercial

Madision, Wis. (Jan. 31, 2013) – Russell Wilson, the dynamic Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback who overcame obstacles to lead his team into the second round of the National Football League playoffs, has joined forces with American Family Insurance and other accomplished dreamers.

Wilson, who recently signed a multi-year endorsement agreement with American Family Insurance, will appear in American Family's local market Super Bowl television commercials in 50 media markets. Three other noted athletes or personalities also are featured in the spot: American Idol 2012 winner Phillip Phillips; PGA veteran Steve Stricker; and 2010 Winter Olympics silver medalist women's hockey goaltender Jessie Vetter.

Images of the four appear with audio of Phillips' hit song "Home," accompanied by narration praising individuals who pursue their dreams. Consistent with other recent American Family Insurance advertisements, the spot encourages viewers to pursue their dreams, "because it's the dreamers who inspire us to go after our own (dreams)."

"We have a big story to tell, and there's no bigger venue than the Super Bowl to tell it," said Telisa Yancy, American Family Insurance's advertising director.

Wilson became familiar with American Family Insurance during his single season playing for the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. His wife, Ashton Wilson, worked at the insurer's headquarters in Madison, and Wilson picked up on the company's philosophies and its philanthropic efforts.

Many NFL scouts considered the 5'11'' Wilson several inches too short to play quarterback, but he persevered and earned the starting nod as a Seahawks rookie with his leadership, focus and work ethic. Terms were not released on the American Family multi-year endorsement agreement.

"Russell Wilson captured the imagination of people across the country this past year," said Jack Salzwedel, American Family's chairman and CEO. "He had big dreams that came true because he wouldn't let any obstacles get in the way."

Phillips in 2012 agreed to allow American Family exclusive financial services rights to his hit song "Home." His coronation song in winning "American Idol" last year, "Home" has been on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 30 weeks, reaching as high as number 6.

Vetter, a Madison-area native who has appeared in American Family commercials, played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin before embarking on a stellar international career.

Stricker and American Family several weeks ago announced a three-year partnership that creates a charitable foundation for children and young adults, in addition to marketing opportunities between the Wisconsin-based golfer and the insurance company.

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company. Web:; Facebook:; Twitter: