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Heinz Field is no more. Just over two decades after opening its doors alongside the Ohio River, the Steelers‘ longtime home will be renamed Acrisure Stadium starting in 2022, the team announced Monday. Heinz, the famous Pittsburgh-headquartered ketchup company, opted out of extending its naming rights deal for the North Shore venue, 93.7 The Fan reported earlier in the day. And now Acrisure, a Michigan-based insurance brokerage, has stepped in with a 15-year agreement to become the new sponsor of the Steelers’ stomping grounds.
“We are excited to partner with Acrisure for the naming rights to our stadium,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement. “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 Pittsburgh Steelers are an institution in American sports and a globally recognized brand,” Acrisure co-founder Greg Williams said in a statement. “Partnering with the Steelers is the opportunity of a lifetime and a tremendous honor. 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.”
Rooney said earlier this year that negotiations were still ongoing between the team and Kraft Heinz regarding stadium naming rights, leaving the door open for a potential change. Heinz originally struck a 20-year, $57 million agreement to sponsor the team’s stadium, then agreed to a one-year extension in 2021.
The transition is likely to include significant updates in and around the stadium, considering there are currently giant Heinz Ketchup bottles displayed near the Steelers’ biggest video scoreboard.
There is also an Acrisure connection inside the Steelers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Two years ago, the insurance company acquired the practice of Tulco LLC, a data-science and artificial-intelligence company, whose chairman and CEO is Thomas Tull, a film producer and minority Steelers owner. Tull currently is also a minority shareholder in Acrisure, per the Gazette.
“This is a great partnership and will have a tremendous impact on both organizations as well as the greater Pittsburgh community,” Tull told CBS Sports. “The Steelers and Acrisure share the same core values of winning and excellence and I could not be prouder to be partnered with both.”
The Steelers haven’t played at a stadium named something other than Heinz Field since 2000, when their home games kicked off at the since-demolished Three Rivers Stadium, which also served as the home of MLB‘s Pittsburgh Pirates.
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