The iconic Heinz ketchup bottles are gone from the scoreboard at what is now Acrisure Stadium, but at least one of them will be sticking around the building, after all.
Heinz and the Pittsburgh Steelers have reached a new agreement to that will provide fans the opportunity to get their pictures taken with one of the ketchup bottles at an unannounced location inside the stadium, as first reported by Brooke Pryor of ESPN.
The Heinz Red Zone branding for when the Steelers offense is inside the opponent’s 50-yard line will also return, with only the scoreboard portion of the graphic remaining.
Steelers president Art Rooney II was hopeful that the Steelers and KraftHeinz, the parent company of the legendary Pittsburgh ketchup maker, would be able to work out a deal for continued sponsorship.
“Let me start by saying we appreciate the twenty-plus year relationship we had with Heinz and we are optimistic and hopeful that we will still continue to have a sponsorship relationship with them,” Rooney said. “We are having those discussions. Who knows, the ketchup bottles could be part of that, we’ll see.”
Heinz had held the naming rights to the stadium from 2001-21, but did not make competitive offer to retain those rights this summer. The Steelers saw a 350% increase in naming rights revenue with their new deal with Michigan-based insurance and financial technology company Acrisure.
The new revenue moved the Steelers up into the top third of NFL teams when it comes to stadium naming rights, despite the facility already being 20 years old.
The Steelers will play their first game at Acrisure Stadium this Sunday when the club hosts the New England Patriots at 1 p.m., but the new ketchup bottle signage location is not expected to be ready for the public until closer to the end of the 2022 season. SEA approval will also be required, according to a Heinz press release.
Founded by Henry J. Heinz just up the Allegheny River in Sharpsburg, Pa. in 1869, the H.J. Heinz Company was headquartered in Pittsburgh until its 2013 merger with Kraft. The Heinz division of the company is still based in Pittsburgh.