GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of West Michigan’s fastest-growing businesses is trying to make its mark on the sports world. Acrisure has secured the naming rights to what is currently called Heinz Field: the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The news was first reported Monday morning by KDKA-FM. Acrisure confirmed the deal in a news release. The naming rights deal will last for 15 years. The financial details were not released.
Greg Williams is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Acrisure. He’s also a lifelong Steelers fan. He called the move a milestone marking the company’s growth into a global entity.
“Through Acrisure Stadium, we will increase awareness of the extraordinary advantage Acrisure brings our clients while conveying our strong sense of community,” Williams said in a release. “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.”
It’s not often these days that the internet can agree on things, but the name Acrisure Stadium has been almost unanimously rejected by Steelers fans. On Twitter, “Gwigggy” said, “I will be six feet in the ground before I ever utter the word ‘Acrisure.’”
Twitter user “KorkedBats” said, “This is the worst thing to happen to Heinz Field since Bane,” referring to the scene in “The Dark Knight Rises” where Batman’s foe destroys the stadium.
Grand Rapids-based Acrisure is an insurance and financial services company that was founded in 2008. Since then, the company claims it has generated more than $3.8 billion in revenue with more than 1,000 businesses and operations in 14 countries.
The stadium opened in 2001 with the naming rights sold to Heinz, a popular Pittsburgh food processing company. Before the opening of Heinz Field, the Steelers played at Three Rivers Stadium, sharing the field with MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates from 1970-2000.
On Sunday, several news outlets in Pittsburgh reported Kraft-Heinz would not extend its naming rights deal with the football team. According to Pro Football Talk, Heinz paid $57 million for the 20-year naming rights deal that was signed in 2000. But naming rights cost a lot more now. SoFi Technologies, which owns the rights to the Los Angeles football stadium where the Rams and Chargers play, pays $20 million per year in a 20-year contract.
The naming rights deal was formally announced Tuesday with a press conference hosted by the team, including Williams and Steelers President Art Rooney II.