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Aflac Kicks Off March Madness® With the "Pre-Pain Show" Featuring Lil Rel Howery and Wanda Sykes

By: 3BL Media

Addition of Wanda as host will help duo raise awareness on actionable, preventative measures Americans can take to help protect themselves from the unexpected moments in life

SOURCE: Aflac Incorporated


COLUMBUS, Ga., March 3, 2022 /3BL Media/ -- Life, like the NCAA® March Madness® Tournament, is filled with unexpected moments. That's why Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S. and an Official Partner of the NCAA and March Madness Tournament, is launching the "Pre-Pain Show" campaign featuring Lil Rel Howery and Wanda Sykes. Together, the comedians are showing fans the gap between what health insurance covers and where medical bills begin to pile up.

Aflac is back for their second year as a NCAA tournament partner with an extension of their 2021 campaign, the Aflac "Pre-Pain Show." The company wants fans from coast to coast to understand that if you are sidelined with an illness or injury, Aflac can help you focus on recovery instead of worrying about medical bills.

"Getting hurt, hurts. But it doesn't just hurt us physically, it can hurt our wallets, especially when we have to pay out-of-pocket for expenses health insurance doesn't cover," said Garth Knutson, vice president, Aflac Brand. "Thankfully, there's something to help ease your pain: Aflac. While we can't take the hurt from your injury away, we can help ease the pain you feel in your pocket – making your hurt, hurt a lot less."

The 2022 lighthearted campaign will continue to feature Lil Rel Howery, and alongside the Aflac Duck, the company has enlisted the star power of Wanda Sykes.

"Medical debt, health and wealth disparities don't discriminate. Many Americans are one step away from a medical incident that could easily lead to financial ruin. I am proud to partner with Aflac to shine a light on critical issues impacting communities across this country – and to serve as Aflac's first LGBTQ+ woman of color to anchor a national campaign," said Sykes. "The 'Pre-Pain Show' represents a step forward in the movement to see all of the communities Aflac serves."

"The Pre-Pain Show" can be seen by college basketball fans across television, social media, digital channels and through engaging on-site activations at a variety of March Madness games. "House of the Unexpected," an on-site activation, opens during the Final Four Fan Fest in New Orleans from March 31 to April 4, and educates fans on how Aflac can help them prepare for unexpected medical events – before the pain hits their wallet. The immersive experience features augmented reality photo opportunities, games and an appearance by the Aflac Duck.

Aflac will continue to expand its support of the HBCU community by becoming an official sponsor of the inaugural HBCU All-Star Game, airing Sunday, April 3, at 4 p.m. EDT on CBS. This event shines a bright spotlight on the rich legacy of HBCU basketball and the role these colleges and universities play in the lives of so many promising students. Aflac's HBCU All-Star Game sponsorship extends its 20-plus year legacy of supporting HBCUs on and off the field and is a natural extension of the company's long-standing commitment to fairness, diversity and inclusion, which are hallmarks of the company's award-winning corporate responsibility and environmental, social and governance programs.

Recognizing that March is also Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the "Pre-Pain Show" campaign will feature content to educate fans about the deadly disease affecting over 100,000 Americans annually, making it the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. While rates of colorectal cancer have been falling in older age groups in recent years, they've been rising among younger people, and African Americans are almost 40% more likely to die from colon cancer than most other racial/ethnic groups, according to the American Cancer Society. Lil Rel Howery will be featured in public service announcements, "That's Rel Talk," to help ensure Americans are not putting off the critical screenings and care they need and help promote the second consumer entry period of Aflac's CareGrants – the company's commitment to award $1 million to individuals and communities who have been impacted by medical debt.

"We've aligned with brand ambassadors and partners who share our vision for a future where hardworking Americans' focus after a medical event is on recovery, not unexpected bills," said Shannon Watkins, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer. "We hope the 'Pre-Pain Show' campaign, as an extension of our Close the Gap strategy, helps shine a light on the health and wealth gaps that exists across our country and shows Aflac's commitment to help close the gap in the communities we serve on and off the court."

To learn more about how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, visit or

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the U.S., Aflac is the number one provider of voluntary/worksite insurance products. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. In 2021, Aflac Incorporated was proud to be included as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for the 15th consecutive year. Also in 2021, the company was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and became a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). In 2022, Aflac Incorporated was included on Fortune's list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 21st time and Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index for the third consecutive year. To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at or Investors may learn more about Aflac Incorporated and its commitment to ESG and social responsibility at under "Sustainability."

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

Aflac | Aflac New York | WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.

Media contact: Amy Persons,

Analyst and investor contact: David A. Young, 706.596.3264 or

THE AFLAC CAREGRANTS CONTEST: NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE CHANCES OF WINNING. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C., age 18+ (19+ in AL and NE, 21+ in MS), who as of the date listed in the applicable Appendix, are not insured under any policy issued or administered by Aflac, Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliates (collectively "Aflac"), and who incurred a medical debt before the date listed in the applicable Appendix. Void where prohibited. Each Contest starts at the time and date listed in the applicable Appendix and ends at the time and date listed in the applicable Appendix (the "Contest Period"). Total ARV of all prizes: $100,000. Subject to full Official Rules available here. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), 1932 Wynnton Rd., Columbus, GA 31999.


Tweet me: Aflac is back for their second year as a @NCAA tournament partner with an extension of their 2021 campaign, the @Aflac "Pre-Pain Show." The show shines a light on health and wealth disparities impacting communities across the country.

KEYWORDS: Aflac, NYSE: AFL, NCAA, Aflac Pre-Pain Show.

Wanda Sykes, the Aflac Duck and Lil Rel Howery kick off Aflac’s “Pre-Pain Show”

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