American Family Insurance to replace Miller Brewing Co. as naming rights sponsor for Brewers stadium

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel–American Family Insurance will replace Miller Brewing as the naming rights sponsor for the Milwaukee Brewers stadium starting in 2021.

The 15-year deal was announced by the Brewers and Madison-based American Family in a Miller Park news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The financial terms will not be made public, and the new name for the ballpark will be announced later, said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers chief operating officer.

American Family Insurance Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Salzwedel (left) and Milwaukee Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger hold up a jersey with “Amfam” on the back during a news conference at Miller Park in Milwaukee on Tuesday. MillerCoors said Tuesday it is giving up the naming rights to Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, after 2020. Beginning in 2021, the rights will go to Madison-based American Family Insurance. (Photo: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“We are thrilled to support and join the continuing transformation of a franchise and city that mean so much to so many people in our home state,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family Insurance chairman and chief executive officer.

American Family is the No. 1 insurer of homes and autos in Wisconsin.

The news marks another major step in the expansion of American Family into Milwaukee. In 2017, the company agreed to a naming rights deal for the Summerfest amphitheater.

Also Tuesday, Salzwedel said American Family would open an office building housing “high tech type jobs” in downtown Milwaukee. The location and other details, including the number of jobs and whether or not it would be new construction or an existing building were still being worked out, he said.

It will be the first time that American Family has had employees in Milwaukee, Salzwedel said.

The Brewers and American Family said there was a broader aspect to their partnership.

“The Brewers and American Family Insurance will collaboratively fund community projects, including refurbishing youth and high school baseball fields,” a Brewers news release said.

Mayor Tom Barrett praised American Family for strengthening its ties to Milwaukee.

“This is a beautiful relationship that’s going to grow even stronger,” the mayor said.

…Last summer, Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. and the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to a 25-year sponsorship for the team’s new $524 million downtown arena.

That process took longer than expected, with Bucks owners and executives spending months extolling the virtues of the new arena and international appeal of the NBA and the Bucks.

There was no similar drawn-out drama when it came to the new name for the Brewers stadium.

A 2011 study by Joyce Julius & Associates Inc., which specializes in measuring the scope of sponsorships across various media, placed the “exposure value” of the Brewers stadium name at $2.74 million, suggesting that Miller was getting a good deal for its annual payment of $2.06 million.

Julius looked for mentions on local, regional and national television programs, major newspapers, and Internet news and features.

American Family sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates — The General, Homesite and AssureStart — also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the internet or by phone.

Total revenue for American Family was about $9.3 billion in 2017, making it one of Wisconsin’s biggest companies. It posted net income of $155.6 million in 2017. Data for 2018 isn’t yet available…