Hold the Ketchup: Heinz Field Is Now Officially Acrisure Stadium
If social media is any indication, fans are far from thrilled.
It’s official: The Steelers have confirmed that Heinz Field will now be known as Acrisure Stadium.
The Steelers said in a statement that the partnership with the Michigan-based company, fronted by co-founder and CEO Greg Williams, will span 15 years. No financial details were released.
Steelers’ minority owner Thomas Tull founded Tulco LLC, an investment holding company that uses artificial intelligence and other tech to guide investing, which Acrisure bought in 2020.
“We are excited to partner with Acrisure for the naming rights to our stadium,” said Steelers president Art Rooney II. “Acrisure provided us with an opportunity to ensure our stadium continues to be a valuable asset for our fans as well as keeping up with the market value of NFL stadiums. We are very appreciative to partner with Greg Williams and his company, and we look forward to a long, beneficial relationship for years to come.”
Acrisure is a financial technology firm that operates a top-10 global insurance broker while also providing a slew of “AI-driven solutions across insurance, real estate services, cyber services, asset management and more,” according to the Steelers. In just over eight years, it has grown from $38 million in revenue to more than $3.8 billion.
The new name will debut immediately, well ahead of the 2022 season.
But not all that glitters is black and gold — Steelers fans wasted little time in criticizing the name change. With Pittsburghers having had Heinz Field since 2001, it will undoubtedly be a bit of an adjustment.
Acrisurely nobody is going to call it that.
— The Artist Formerly Known as @DanWeiner (@ReallyDanWeiner) July 11, 2022
One Twitter user wrote, “Acrisurely nobody is going to call it that,” and another critiqued the lack of a firm local connection: “Michigan based? Are we going to change the Steelers [sic] name to the Pittsburgh Lions?”
Michigan based? Are we going to change the Steelers name to the Pittsburgh Lions?
— Joey Tyler 🇳🇴☘️ 🏴🏴🇬🇧 (@mjtsands) July 11, 2022
The partnership between the football team and the insurance broker will enable the franchise to continue to invest in stadium amenities and aesthetics, including new stadium identification for the 2022 season, the Steelers said. The partnership also includes community initiatives aimed at providing a deep connection for Acrisure in the Pittsburgh community and brand recognition both locally and nationally to support Acrisure’s growth.
Its founder, Williams, is reportedly a lifelong Steelers fan.
“The Pittsburgh Steelers are an institution in American sports and a globally recognized brand. Partnering with the Steelers is the opportunity of a lifetime and a tremendous honor,” Williams said in a statement. “Through Acrisure Stadium, we will increase awareness of the extraordinary advantage Acrisure brings our clients while conveying our strong sense of community. Relatedly, we are eager to invest in the Pittsburgh community and broader region as we chart our course to an unforgettable first season.”
The H.J. Heinz Company has owned the naming rights to the stadium since its inception in 2001, but the original 20-year deal — which cost $57 million, like Heinz 57 — came to an end last year. Talks of extending the agreement have stalled, leaving the future of the stadium’s iconic brand up in the air. Until now, that is.
Things will likely look a bit different inside the stadium, too; much of its decor is an allusion to the Kraft-Heinz company’s world-famous ketchup, which was invented in Pittsburgh in 1869 and manufactured here for more than a century. It’s uncertain what will become of the giant Heinz ketchup bottles that sit above the endzone, for instance.
This story was updated from its original publication.