Heinz “Red Zone” will remain, without the ketchup bottles, at not-Heinz Field

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It’s no longer Heinz Field, but the Heinz isn’t going away completely.

According to Mark Belko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kraft Heinz and the Steelers have reached a verbal deal on a five-year relationship that will allow Heinz to maintain a presence at the place that no longer will be known as Heinz Field.

“We’re happy to say we’re going to continue to work with Heinz,” Steelers V.P. of sales and marketing Ryan Huzjak told Belko. “Heinz is going to continue to be a corporate partner of ours.”

The presence includes ongoing sponsorship of the Heinz Red Zone. However, the ketchup bottles that would tilt as the video board filled up digitized ketchup already have been removed and won’t be part of the arrangement. There will be, per Huzjak, “digital replication” of the past dynamic.

One of the 35-foot fiberglass bottles could return to not-Heinz Field, as part of a Kraft Heinz display.

“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,” Huzjak told Belko.

The team’s new corporate naming-rights partner surely will have a voice in those talks. Fans have not embraced the change. The more visible Heinz is in the building, the harder it will be to get fans to truly turn the page.

That’s why the bottles are gone. The fans surely wanted them. The new corporate partner surely did not. Otherwise, the new company would be paying more than $10 million for naming rights that would still be owned, as a practical matter, by someone else.

7 responses to “Heinz “Red Zone” will remain, without the ketchup bottles, at not-Heinz Field

  1. I’m waiting for the American Pickers episode 30 years from now where they come across one of the giant bottles in some weeds behind a rural West Virginia farm.

  2. Naming rights are always subject to this sort of flux. I have no idea what the Sears Tower is called, but I call it the Sears Tower. Comiskey Park is the place where the White Sox play.

    I don’t live in Chicago, but those are two of the best examples I have.

  3. It will ALWAYS BE HEINZ FIELD….Acrisure is just peeing into the wind if they think people will call it anything else.

    And….I am not a Steelers fan.

  4. I’m curious how Acrisure can dictate to the Steelers who they can have for advertising partners. Are they gonna be upset about the beverages that advertise there too?

  5. Why would the red zone change to anything other than the red zone? Every football stadium in the world has a “red zone”. Just because ketchup is red doesnt mean the Heinz had some exclusive naming rights to the area of the field between the 20 yard lines and the endzone.

  6. The Ravens have also used the “Heinz Red Zone” name for years. At least on their radio broadcasts. So it’s not at all surprising that The Steelers would do the same.

  7. The Steelers & Heinz announced up front that they wanted to maintain a relationship (at the naming rights press conference) so this shouldn’t be any surprise to Acrisure. I can see not wanting the bottles up on the scorecard, but if the Steelers want timo bring one back in a Heinz sponsored area why couldn’t they? It’s no different then the PNC Champions Club or Fed Ex Great Hall already in place. All party’s should look to do what’s best for the fans. If Acrisure didn’t know this would have been a tough sell they should have invested their money in Michigan!

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