Pittsburgh Steelers fans watched in horror as cranes removed the former Heinz Field’s iconic giant ketchup bottles earlier this week. The team recently reached a sponsorship deal to rename their home to Acrisure Stadium. The massive condiment bottles were a fixture of the gameday experience for both Steelers and Pitt Panther fans alike.
Every time the home team reached the red zone (inside the 20-yard line), the ketchup bottles would “pour” out onto the massive video scoreboard, indicating that the team was in scoring position. With the huge bottles gone, many thought things would never be the same. Now, the team has reached a deal with Kraft Heinz to keep the Heinz Red Zone tradition going.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the deal will keep the gimmick in place for five years. Unfortunately, the big ketchup bottles are gone. They will be replaced with a “digital replication.”
There is a possibility that one of the 35-foot bottles could return as part of a sponsored Kraft Heinz display. Steelers VP of sales and marketing Ryan Huzjak said he would like to have a bottle visible at the stadium. That has not been finalized at this time.
Acrisure paid a boatload of money for the stadium naming rights. It makes sense that they would want to have the biggest corporate branding presence on the building. Still, they have to be sensitive to the fact that Steelers fans would love to have at least one of the big bottles back.
Steelers fans were enraged when they learned the news of the name change. Much of Steeler Nation insists that they will continue to call the stadium Heinz Field. Regardless of the name, the team is doing what it can to keep the company’s presence alive.
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