There’s happiness in Hartford

A couple of weeks back I blogged about the people of Hartford, Conn., mourning the loss of the umbrella logo once associated with Travelers Insurance Co. The occasion was an announcement by Citigroup, the umbrella’s current owner, that it planned a rebranding effort, with the umbrella likely to wind up on the marketing trash heap.

At the time, Travelers, in its new incarnation as part of St. Paul Travelers Cos., indicated it wasn’t interested in acquiring the umbrella. The company had, afterall, recently begun a new marketing campaign employing a winged shield logo. But lo and behold, this morning St. Paul Travelers announced plans to purchase the umbrella from Citigroup and change its name to The Travelers Cos.

Terms of the acquisition weren’t announced, though Citigroup indicated it plans to use proceeds to help pay for its rebranding. Whatever the price, for residents of Hartford, where Travelers was once based and still home to many of the company’s operations, the rebirth of the cherished icon, which many in the city long considered their own, it’s money well spent.

On a personal note, while I’m happy for the people of Hartford, and applaud what I believe is a great marketing move by St. Paul Travelers,  today’s announcement left me in the kind of lurch that happens in the journalism business every now and then.

While it’s easy to quickly update the words on this blog, it’s more difficult to do so with our print products, particularly when deadlines fall some time in advance of actual publication dates. I refer to my column in the February issue of Industry Focus, due to hit people’s desks Monday. In the piece, I discuss the umbrella situation, with only St. Paul Travelers’ earlier statements about their lack of interest in acquiring the logo to work with. Oh well. There’ll be another issue next month, and I can give the folks in St. Paul a pat on the back for their marketing savvy then.


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