Brand awareness for Acrisure is all about name recognition. After a series of acquisitions and building out its DTC business, the insurance and fintech company realized that its smaller companies had a lot more brand equity in their communities.
Elliott Bundy, Acrisure Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, said they made the decision for the first time in the company’s history to spend time, resources and money on building an overall Acrisure brand. It also involved naming rights. In 2022, Acrisure sealed a 10-year naming rights deal for an entertainment and sports venue in SoCal. Bundy described this as a strategic move as the company’s largest concentration of clients is in California. Acrisure also acquired the naming rights of Long Island’s UBS Arena – The Acrisure Great Hall.
Backlash Over Name Change
However, the company faced backlash when it decide to take over the naming rights to the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have for long been known as Heinz Field. The deal was worth $150 million – $10 million a year for 15 years. The name acceptance is coming around slowly. But some fans started a petition against the name change. Bundy said this wasn’t unexpected. He said Acrisure has taken several steps to integrate itself with the Pittsburgh community. The company has set aside a block of tickets that it gives to local charities like the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Pittsburgh. It’s also working on community-based projects with the Steelers. Bundy said they set up a tent at training camp for fans to stop by and ask questions, and partnered with Steelers-adjacent properties like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and influencer Pittsburgh Dad to create content.
Moreover, Acrisure is looking at overall media value, including comparing earned media mentions to get that same level of press. Acrisure brought in a third-party firm to estimate what the equivalent media value might be before a regular NFL season before signing the deal. It’s also conducting brand awareness surveys among the target audience of small businesses.
Bundy said Acrisure is supporting its naming rights initiatives with targeted brand awareness campaigns in the form of programmatic buys across websites and platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
A Jump Start
Naming rights, especially stadium deals, for Acrisure was kind of like jump starting the company’s branding effort. Bundy revealed that surveys conducted by the company among audiences that resembled Acrisure’s customers, typically small to medium-sized businesses, showed awareness jumping from 0 to 5%. He believes this is a substantial increase. “Among the same cohort of people we serve, they’re at maybe 6%, 7%, as high as maybe 10% of awareness. And those are companies that have been around in some of those cases for 200 years.”