MILWAUKEE, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Northwestern Mutual is introducing fans of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship and the Women's College World Series® for softball to its popular NCAA bracket challenges.

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"We are pleased to continue hosting bracket challenges across many of the NCAA's most exciting sports," said Conrad York, vice president of marketing at Northwestern Mutual. "Our company holds a true passion for college athletics and we are committed to providing fans with additional opportunities to follow the competition."

To join in the excitement today, fans may visit Northwestern Mutual's Facebook page and start by registering for the men's lacrosse contest, followed by the softball contest on Monday, May 6. Enthusiasts may then begin filling out their brackets on the dates specified below.

Men's Lacrosse
Starting Monday, May 6, fans may select who they think will be crowned the winner of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship. The deadline for entry is Saturday, May 11, at 12:00 p.m. CST.

Women's Softball
Shortly following the men's lacrosse entry, fans may pick who they think will emerge victorious for the NCAA Division I Women's College World Series in softball on Monday, May 13, with the last entry day scheduled for Thursday, May 30, at 12:00 p.m. CST.

Grand prize winners will be randomly selected from among the four highest bracket point totals, for each respective contest, to ultimately win a $500 gift card to the NCAA Shop, while two additional, randomly selected participants will receive a $100 gift card to the NCAA Shop. 

Since November 2012, Northwestern Mutual has hosted a series of NCAA bracket contests on Facebook that kicked off with women's volleyball, followed by men's ice hockey in April. In addition to May's contests, the company will cap off the remainder of the year with a baseball challenge in June, women's volleyball in the fall and women's soccer in December. Northwestern Mutual is an Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, with exclusivity in the life insurance, wealth management and retirement planning service categories.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.4 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions, including life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

About the NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.

NCAA and Women's College World Series are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual