The Margin: Heinz Field no more: Pittsburgh Steelers’ home being renamed Acrisure Stadium

Since the Pittsburgh Steelers first took to the turf at their new stadium in 2001, it’s been named Heinz Field, after the Pittsburgh-based condiments brand, whose iconic ketchup bottles have had a vivid presence at the venue.

The twin 35-foot-tall ketchup bottles atop the Heinz Field video screen could soon be coming down, unless a separate in-stadium advertising pact is reached with the brand, a unit since 2015 of the conglomerate Kraft Heinz KHC, jointly headquartered in Chicago.

That’s because the NFL team is reportedly set to change the name on the marquee from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. The stadium’s naming-rights deal with Heinz, originally inked with H.J. Heinz, has expired, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to its website, Acrisure is a “global fintech leader” that “provides customers with intelligence-driven financial services solutions for insurance, reinsurance, real estate services, cyber services and asset and wealth management.”

Acrisure does have a connection to the Steelers franchise. According to the Post-Gazette report, Acrisure a few years back purchased AI company Tulco LLC, which is run by Thomas Tull, a minority owner of the Steelers.

It hasn’t yet been reported how much Acrisure will pay for the naming rights, but, according to ProFootballTalk, Heinz paid $57 million in total for the two-decade rights, extended by a year in 2021.

The new naming-rights deal comes on the heels of several recent naming-rights agreements for sports and entertainment venues in the U.S., many involving brands with financial or crypto roots. The Los Angeles Lakers renamed their stadium the Arena as part of a 20-year, $700 million deal. That has been reported to be the biggest-ever naming-rights deal in global sports history. The Miami Heat’s home venue, FTX Arena, is branded under a 19-year deal worth $135 million. And Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, where the Bucks a year ago this month clinched their first NBA title since 1971, is named for that financial technology company

under a 2018 rights deal that has been estimated to be worth $6 million a year over a quarter-century span, or $150 million.

Representatives of the the Steelers, Kraft Heinz and Acrisure did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s requests for comment on this story.

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One of the most noteworthy aspects of Heinz Field among fans has been the giant ketchup bottles above the stadium jumbotron. The twin bottles, measuring 35 feet long, 9 feet wide and 6 feet deep and weighing several tons, sit atop the scoreboard and pour out (digital) ketchup whenever the home team gets inside the visitors’ 20-yard line, a/k/a into the red zone.

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