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Acrisure, Steelers Announce 15-Year Naming Rights Deal for Stadium

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Steelers 2022 Acrisure Stadium

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially announced a new naming rights contract with Michigan-based insurance broker Acrisure to rename their North Shore home Acrisure Stadium, beginning with the 2022 season. The news was first reported Monday morning.

The naming rights deal is for 15 years, notable because the Steelers’ lease with the Sports and Exhibition Authority, the owners of the stadium, runs only though the end of the 2030 season. The Steelers have the ability to unilaterally extend the lease in five-year increments. The stadium had been known as Heinz Field since it was first built in 2001.

Acrisure founder Greg Williams is a lifelong Steelers fan, and as CEO, he helped negotiate the acquisition of a part of Steelers minority owner Thomas Tull’s company in 2020. The stock-for-stock deal made Tull a shareholder of Acrisure, as well.

“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 press release. “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. This relationship truly embodies and aligns two organizations that have high standards and are determined to achieve great things.” 

Acrisure is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but hopes the deal will help develop brand recognition and connection with the Pittsburgh community. According to Steelers president Art Rooney II, the deal is financially competitive with those of the Steelers’ peers.

“We are excited to partner with Acrisure for the naming rights to our stadium,” Rooney said. “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.” 

The financial figure of the deal was not disclosed. Recent NFL naming deals have been steep, with SoFi paying $30 million for 20 years to have its name on the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers and Allegiant Airlines paying up to $25 million per year for its name to be on the new venue for the Las Vegas Raiders. 

As an existing stadium instead of a new venue, the Steelers’ stadium likely did not fetch that level of pricing. Front Office Sports reported that Pittsburgh-based medical nonprofit Highmark is paying $5 million annually to have its name on the Buffalo Bills’ stadium in Orchard Park, New York, replacing a deal that New Era backed out of. Empower is paying $3 million per year for the naming rights of the field at Denver’s Mile High Stadium.

As for Heinz, the legendary ketchup and condiment maker, which no longer has its headquarters or any factories in Pittsburgh after a series of acquisitions and mergers that has left it part of the Kraft Heinz Company and owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, the company said that while it did not renew its naming rights contract with the Steelers, it will continue to partner with the team in the future.

At the minimum, that suggests that Heinz condiments will continue to be available inside the stadium, and might leave open the possibility of the Heinz Red Zone scoreboard theme and accompanying 35-foot-tall ketchup bottles sticking around.

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