Many Steelers fans openly revolted over the name change from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. However, is the name change a conflict of interest as well?
It turns out that Acrisure ended up winning the naming rights for Heinz Field, in which they will pay $150 million over 15 years. Most Steelers fans had never heard of the insurance company before the deal. The reason being is that it is a Michigan-based company. The naming deal then touched off a petition drive hoping to force the Steelers to undo the agreement with Acrisure Insurance.
Then as more news filtered, we discovered that Acrisure had a minority presence in Pittsburgh unbeknownst to many. In 2017 Tulco LLC, a privately held holdings company sprung up in Pittsburgh. It developed an AI (artificial intelligence) insurance platform later acquired by Acrisure in 2020 for $400 million.
In that light, it would not appear that anything improper occurred during Acrisure’s acquisition of the naming rights to the Steelers stadium. However, there is another part to the story.
Steelers Part Owner Thomas Tull
In 2005 up and coming businessman Thomas Tull founded Legendary Entertainment and that same year merged with Warner Brothers becoming an eventual billionaire in the process. In addition to other business ventures before 2005, he kept looking at other opportunities. With the money he acquired through Legendary Pictures in 2009, he became a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here is, well, where things potentially go sideways. In 2017 Tull then created another business based in Pittsburgh. The company’s name is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.