The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base has been through the emotional ringer the past few weeks, and it all started with the naming rights for the stadium going from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium.
When it felt as if the wound was starting to heal, and fans were coming to grips with the name change, video of the history ketchup bottles on the scoreboard being removed ripped open the wound and made it fresh all over again.
Well, if you are a fan and will long for the return of the ketchup bottles, or the Heinz name to somehow be associated with the Steelers, Kraft-Heinz and the Steelers have agreed on a corporate sponsorship lasting 5 years.
“We’re happy to say we’re going to continue to work with Heinz. Heinz is going to continue to be a corporate partner of ours,” Ryan Huzjak, Steelers vice president of sales and marketing, said Thursday.
He declined to release financial terms.
For those wondering, as part of the deal, Kraft-Heinz will continue to sponsor the Heinz Red Zone, as it is called when the Steelers get to the opponent’s 20-yard line near the end zone.
But does this mean the ketchup bottles will return? Does this mean they will still turn and tilt as if they are pouring ketchup onto the digital screen?
“There’s a lot that needs to be covered in terms of detail but we’re working on an opportunity where we can have a bottle visible at the stadium,” Mr. Huzjak said.
“There are some challenges because the bottles are old and the materials provide some challenges. But we’re hopeful to have them on display in a Heinz-sponsored area so the fans can continue to sort of enjoy the history of the building and enjoy that aspect of it.”
The talk is over digital ketchup bottles instead of the giant plastic ones, but the giant plastic bottles could find their way into the concourse area for fans to have a photo-op, or to check out some of the Kraft-Heinz condiments at concessions.
In a statement confirming the new deal, Kraft Heinz spokeswoman Kathy Krenger said the bottle will be featured in a prominent location at the stadium “where visitors can get a coveted photo op!”
“There are other important elements of the deal that will give fans the opportunity to experience our brands such as concessions, tunnel covers and more,” she added.
While the name of the stadium won’t be changing back to Heinz, hopefully this news will provide some solace to those who were emotionally hurting after the name changed to Acrisure Stadium.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.