Jul 13, 2022 - Sports

Three industries dominate stadium naming rights

Sports venue naming rights, by industry
Data: Axios research; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

If a company's name is on a "Big Four" sports stadium, that company is likely part of these "Big Three" industries: financial services, insurance or telecom.

Driving the news: Heinz Field, home of the Steelers, is now Acrisure Stadium after the Michigan-based insurance firm bought the naming rights, the team announced Monday.

  • Kraft Heinz and the Steelers struck a 20-year, $57 million deal when the stadium opened in 2001.
  • That $2.85 million annual payment is now well below market value, so Heinz threw in the terrible towel rather than re-up.
  • Acrisure will reportedly pay more than $10 million annually during its 15-year deal.

The big picture: Acrisure is the 52nd of 97 (54%) sponsored stadiums across the Big Four sports leagues whose naming rights are owned by a company in financial services (29), insurance (12) or telecom (11).

  • Three other industries sponsor more than five stadiums: automotive (9), food and beverage (7) and retail (7).
  • The others: Technology (5), energy (3), airline (3), shipping (2), health care (2), crypto (2), environmental (2), gaming (1), aerospace (1) and chemicals (1).

Of note: Just 14 unsponsored stadiums remain — eight of which are in tradition-rich MLB and two of which are only temporary.

  • MLB (8): Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Nationals Park, Wrigley Field, Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  • NFL (3): Lambeau Field, Soldier Field, Paul Brown Stadium
  • NHL (2): ASU Multi-Purpose Arena (the Coyotes will temporarily share an arena with Arizona State), FLA Live Arena (interim name after BB&T deal expired).
  • NBA (1): Madison Square Garden (also NHL)

The backdrop: Heinz's fate is reminiscent of what happened to two other classic consumer brands recently: Staples was replaced by Crypto.com and Miller Park became American Family Field.

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