For the first time ever, Steelers fans were officially recognized as members of Steelers Nation during the 2014 season with Steelers Nation Unite. Providing fans with new ways to get recognized and get rewarded for their dedication and their passion, Steelers Nation Unite became a key component to the Steelers fan experience at Heinz Field, on the road and across Steelers Nation.
With its official launch on the morning of October 20, 2014, the same day the Steelers would defeat the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football, Steelers Nation Unite began the process of recognizing Steelers fans the world over.
Along with being recognized as an official member of Steelers Nation just for joining, fans began receiving opportunities to score exclusive experiences and prizes at Heinz Field. When attending games, members have the ability to RSVP during the week to share their seat location, and can then Check In at the stadium. Accessible through the Steelers Nation Unite website or the Steelers mobile app, RSVP and Check In are two ways that members can received an added bonus with their game day experience. Experiences members participated in at Heinz Field included:
- Terrible Towel Unfurl
- Players Tunnel
- Terrible Towel Twirl
- Postgame field access
Once the games began, members continued to get rewarded with "Surprise and Delights" – surprise deliveries to fans at their seats during the game. Among the prizes handed out this season were:
- Autographed Steelers footballs and memorabilia
- Steelers Nation Unite merchandise
- Steelers Sideline Store gift cards
- Postgame field access
- Flat screen TV
- Bose headphones
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort stays
- Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards
- Steelers AFC North Division Champs merchandise
- Ticket upgrades
These benefits were available at every home game following the launch and were afforded to fans just for being members of Steelers Nation Unite.
On the road
Steelers Nation Unite connected with fans on the road this season, as members are also able to RSVP and Check In for away games. By giving advance notice that they would be attending a road game, members were randomly selected for meet-and-greet events on the nights prior to a Steelers away game. At these events, members were presented "SNU Road Warrior" certificates for supporting the Steelers away from Heinz Field and took part in Q&A sessions with former Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley.
On game days, Steelers Nation Unite met up with members who checked in at the stadium and delivered a variety of prizes, including pregame field passes, Steelers Nation Unite flags and Steelers merchandise.
Steelers Nation Unite also met up with fans at Steelers bars in opposing cities this season, including The Irish Exit in New York City, Piranha's in Nashville and Martino's On Vine in Cincinnati. Barefoot Bernie's in North Carolina and Harold's Cave Creek Corral in Arizona also connected with Steelers Nation Unite this season and these bars even appeared on the Heinz Field scoreboard during the Terrible Towel Twirl at the AFC Wild Card Game.
Serving as destinations for Steelers fans who live outside of Pittsburgh, these bars and countless others play a key role in uniting Steelers Nation the world over.
Across Steelers Nation
Steelers Nation is much larger than just the fans in the stadium on game day, which is why members who are not at the games benefited each week.
Steelers Nation Unite members rewarded as Steelers fans make their presence known at the Georgia Dome.
Through calls to action on social media provided by the Weekly Huddle and random giveaways, fans everywhere have received prizes for participating and for their role in making Steelers Nation the strength of the Pittsburgh Steelers tradition. Carrying on the "Surprise and Delight" concept, these prizes were surprise deliveries to members, which included autographed memorabilia, Steelers merchandise, Bose headphones and gift cards.
Five Steelers Nation Unite members also received a surprise on New Year's Day, as they were randomly selected for two tickets and a VIP experience at the AFC Wild Card Game, where they were granted pregame field access and led the Terrible Towel Twirl with Steelers great Jerome Bettis prior to kickoff.
Earlier in the season, member Steve Lloyd participated in a social media call to action, asking for fans to post on Twitter or Facebook what Joe Greene means to the Steelers. For his post, Lloyd was surprised with an autographed Joe Greene jersey from the night the Steelers retired his number 75.
These opportunities and others will continue to be a major part of Steelers Nation Unite as the goal is to continually recognize fans for their support of the team across the country and around the world.
An important part of connecting members with the team is the Weekly Huddle, a weekly in-season message delivered exclusively to Steelers Nation Unite members. Through the Weekly Huddle, members were given opportunities to directly interact with their favorite players. Through live fan forum conference calls, online chats and Twitter takeovers, fans were given opportunities each week to connect with a different player. Players who connected with fans in various ways during the 2014 season included:
- Antonio Brown
- Brett Keisel
- Le'Veon Bell
- Maurkice Pouncey
- Cameron Heyward
- Lawrence Timmons
- Ramon Foster
- David DeCastro
As part of the Weekly Huddle, members also got a video message from Head Coach Mike Tomlin during the bye week, and on Christmas Eve received a surprise phone message from Ben Roethlisberger. Prior to Alumni Weekend and the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Super Bowl IX on Nov. 30, members were able to participate in a live fan forum call with four-time Super Bowl champion Rocky Bleier.
These opportunities were all presented to members in an effort to keep fans connected with the Steelers and thank them for their continued commitment to the black and gold.
The Steelers showed their appreciation to Steelers Nation with a 'Thank You Fans' game on 12/28/14.
2014 was just the beginning for Steelers Nation Unite. Throughout the offseason, the Weekly Huddle will continue connecting and rewarding fans. Members are encouraged to stay tuned for special editions of the Weekly Huddle and keep an eye on Steelers Nation Unite social media for contests, sweepstakes and giveaways.
To join Steelers Nation Unite and be officially recognized as a member of Steelers Nation, visit http://steelersnationunite.com/ or the 'Steelers Nation Unite' page on the Steelers mobile app. Joining is free, quick and easy and only requires an email address and a password to sign up.