In a big marketing coup, Maryland officials announced Tuesday they are partnering with the Baltimore Ravens to help promote the state's health insurance exchange.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has tried to join forces with the National Football League to help educate the public about the online marketplaces but was unable to secure a deal.
The two-time Super Bowl champions will air ads about the exchange on their "Gameday" TV show as well as on the Ravens website and Facebook page as part of the state's overall marketing campaign for the Maryland Health Connection.
"The partnership will provide Maryland Health Connection with the opportunity to reach and engage fans while making them aware of the new opportunity they have for health coverage beginning this fall through the health insurance marketplace," Maryland's health department said in an announcement.
But Ravens players won't actually be included in any ads, nor directly urging consumers to enroll in the online marketplace. "It's a media partnership," Maryland Health Connection Spokeswoman Danielle Davis told Kaiser Health News. "It doesn't include the players. It's really with the Ravens organization."
Still, the Ravens affiliation will help Maryland officials get the word out about the exchange because 71 percent of the uninsured population in Maryland watched, attended or listened to a Ravens game last year, making Ravens games' audiences a key demographic for the Maryland Health Connection, according to the announcement.