Heinz calls price to keep name on Steelers’ stadium “significantly more than we could justify”
When Heinz Stadium first got its name, the Heinz company paid $57 million (get it?) over 20 years for the naming rights. Since then, the price to name an NFL stadium has gone up considerably, and Heinz can no longer justify it.
The Steelers’ home field will change its name to Acrisure Stadium after Acrisure agreed to pay more than $10 million a year for the naming rights. Heinz said it simply didn’t see that kind of money as worth spending.
“While we worked diligently with the Steelers for several months around a new naming rights deal, they found a new partner willing to pay significantly more than we could justify,” the Kraft Heinz Company said in a statement.
Heinz noted that it maintains a strong presence in Pittsburgh and will continue to sponsor the Steelers, just not at the same financial level or with the same prominence.
“Pittsburgh is the city where H.J. Heinz was born and where he launched what is now an iconic, global brand. The Steelers are a legendary franchise, and together with Heinz are a winning combination that represent some of the best of Pittsburgh. . . . While our name will no longer be on the stadium, Heinz will remain a significant, long-term sponsor of the Steelers and we’re excited to announce the details of our new partnership in the days ahead. Kraft Heinz is committed to its ongoing support of the Steelers and the Pittsburgh community, in a city that is our co-headquarters,” the statement said.
NFL teams are in the money-making business, and they sell the stadium naming rights to the highest bidder. And sometimes the highest bidder is a business with an awkward-sounding name like Acrisure, rather than an iconic local brand like Heinz.