The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Monday a 15-year partnership with Michigan-based insurance broker Acrisure for naming rights to Heinz Field, beginning this season.
“Through Acrisure Stadium, we will increase awareness of the extraordinary advantage Acrisure brings our clients while conveying our strong sense of community,” said Greg Williams, Acrisure Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, in a press release.
Steelers fans hated the news. The Steelers’ home stadium had been named Heinz Field since it opened, in 2001.
A Kraft Heinz statement, reported by the Post-Gazette, said the global foods conglomerate wanted to retain the naming rights for the North Shore stadium, but the Steelers “found a new partner willing to pay significantly more than we could justify.”
The H. J. Heinz Company was founded in Sharpsburg, PA, across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh, in 1869. Today, Kraft Heinz is co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh.
Acrisure has a connection to the team through Steelers part-owner, local billionaire, Thomas Tull, founder of this summer’s not-so-local Maple House Music Festival.
In 2020, the Post-Gazette reported Acrisure purchased part of Tull’s tech investment holding company, Tulco LLC, for $400 million.
Terms of the deal between Acrisure and the Steelers were not released. 93.7 The Fan reporter Andrew Fillipponi, who broke the news that Heinz would not renew its naming rights, tweeted that his sources put the annual cost at over $10 million annually.
Despite the Yinzer backlash, there’s no reason to believe the agreed-upon deal would fall through. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday. But if there is a change of heart, here are some satirical alternative names the Rooney’s might consider.
#1: Estadio Duolingo
- PRO: The local language learning app is game for creative branding, like their new East Liberty taqueria takeout spot.
- CON: Getting Yinzers to pronounce “Acereros” — Spanish for “Steelers” — will be almost as hard as having them say “Acrisure”
#2: Rich Fitzgerald Fieldhouse
- PRO: Honors the outgoing, three-term Allegheny County executive. Every time the Steelers score, a natural gas well flares in either end zone.
- CON: Season ticket holders and other frequent attendees may experience an increased risk of Ewing’s sarcoma.
#3: Caliente Pizza and Football Stadium Drafthouse
#4: ADIA Stadium
- PRO: On May 31, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) led an over $725 million investment round in Acrisure. This naming arrangement passes the glory on to the investors who helped make it all possible.
- CON: ADIA is the 3rd largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, through which the repressive Emerati monarchy reinvests its oil wealth.
#5: Super Genius Stadium
- PRO: A monument big enough to satisfy the ego of Pittsburgh’s #1 sports talk radio personality.
- CON: Only those with a tested IQ of 166 or greater are permitted entry (no supporting documentation required).
#6: Guyasuta Grounds
#7: Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman Field
- PRO: Twins done did it again.
- CON: Twins done did it again.
#8: NREC Arena
- PRO: Not only is “N-wreck” Arena fun to say, it brings national attention to Pittsburgh’s growing killer robot industry.
- CON: Nightmarish four-legged robot dogs shoot rowdy fans on sight. With t-shirts. During the free t-shirt toss that sports teams do during intermission.
#9: Steely McStadium
#10: Colcom Coliseum
- PRO: A “coliseum” sounds like a more intimidating place to play than a “stadium.”
- CON: Birth certificate and Oath of Allegiance required for entry, possibly resulting in long lines for fans.
#11: Cassatt Stadium
- PRO: Allegheny City native and famed impressionist painter Mary Cassatt grew up within walking distance of where the stadium stands today; la grande dame’s name lends a touch of grace to the hypermasculine world of professional football.
- CON: The seeming lack of any connection between the artist and the game of football may be a dealbreaker to some.
#12: Shell Polymer’s Plastic Fantastic Football Factory
- PRO: Looking to generate positive brand awareness ahead of their massive new petrochemical facility’s grand opening, Shell replaces the Steelers’ notoriously shabby natural grass field with a durable, plastic-based turf alternative, fracked and cracked right here in Western Pennsylvania.
- CON: Steelers Nation, in love with the competitive advantage the new plastic turf provides, renames as “Nurdle Nation.”
#13: Three Rivers Stadium
- PRO: A name that everyone likes and nobody seems to be using anymore.
- CON: OK, nevermind, their website is still up.