The Pittsburgh Steelers first practice open to the public was held July 29 at Saint Vincent College, home of the six-time Super Bowl champs’ training camp since 1966. This year, the Steelers wanted to up the ante on customer experience for fans in attendance at camp and those who can’t make it.
Opening weekend for the team’s 2016 training camp included an NFL Network Fan Activation Zone, featuring appearances by former Steelers Rocky Bleier and Mel Blount, as well as a Super Bowl LI Lombardi Trophy display.
Members of Steelers Nation Unite, the official fan loyalty program of the team, will be treated to a new feature in 2016. Twice daily, select loyalty program members will be able to take part in a special viewing of the team’s 2015 highlight film. To sign up to become a member of SNU, visit www.steelersnationunite.com.
Steelers Nation Unite launched in 2014.
Other new on-site activities at training camp include interactive photo opportunities, along with daily fan experiences, including VIP passes and other giveaways. Fans can also visit the new Steelers merchandise tent, featuring Steelers authentic memorabilia.
The annual Friday Night Lights practice will take place at Latrobe Memorial Stadium on Aug. 5. The day will feature “Steelers Fest” from noon to 6 p.m., and ESPN SportsCenter On the Road will broadcast Live from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. Fans will have the opportunity to take a picture with the team’s six Lombardi Trophies at Steelers Fest.
Burt Lauten, Director of Communications for the Steelers, discussed the new fan experiences with Loyalty360.
“We wanted to make Training Camp more than just the experience of watching the Steelers practice,” Lauten explained. “We wanted it to be a destination for our fans of all ages, and we try to add new experiences each summer. We have had great response from our fans and they appreciate our efforts in making it an enjoyable trip each and every time.”
Fan experience is more than just what occurs during every Sunday afternoon for Steelers fans, Lauten noted.
“Our social and digital content that our fans provide us is evidence that our fan experience is truly an everyday event, and it stretches around the globe with the amount of fans that have that sent us pictures and content from around the world,” he explained. “We have improved our experiences in many ways over the past couple years, including direct interaction with players, coaches and front office staff, as well as giving fans experiences, both at Heinz Field as well as in the comfort of their own homes.”
This season marks the third year of the Steelers Nation Unite loyalty program.
“We have listened to our fans about what they want and expect from our loyalty program, and that, in turn, gave us the opportunity to enhance, not only the on-field experiences, but also the website platform that allows fans from around the world to engage like never before.”
Lauten said the Steelers continue to listen to fan feedback about their expectations for the loyalty program.
“We have had great response and interaction with our fans, and we know we need to continue to work to grow with the ever-changing world of social and digital media platforms that directly connect us with our fans,” he said. “Our fans deserve to have a year-round connection with the team and organization, and Steelers Nation Unite provides that opportunity throughout the football season and offseason. Our fans are the best in the world, and they have shown time and time again they are looking to connect in any way during the entire calendar year. We love this approach because it gives us the chance to listen and respond each and every day, whether it is during the season or during any of the tent pole events during the NFL’s offseason calendar.”