Primetime football often brings out the best in Steelers Nation. That was the case on Sunday night, as fans brought the noise and energy from start to finish and enjoyed big plays in every phase of the game. Now in the thick of the stretch run, Steelers Nation is going to be called upon the rest of the season to keep elevating and energizing their team.
And while Sunday night brought out the best in Steelers Nation, it also brought a number of exciting opportunities to feel connected to the game day action, regardless of where they were watching Sunday Night Football.
Things got started in an exciting way, as Steelers Nation Unite, the team's official free loyalty program, connected members with a pair of former Steelers greats, wide receivers and Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Live from the new PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field, the dynamic duo answered questions submitted by members on social media and in a chat window live on camera, and the feed was only available at SteelersNationUnite.com.
These interactions are a weekly in-season occurrence called the Weekly Huddle, and they're available to all members just for signing up. Each week during the season, and throughout the offseason and on special occasions (like Sunday), the Weekly Huddle is the only way to get direct, live access to all the current Steelers players, as well as coaches and alumni.
Take a look at some of the highlights for fans, delivered by Steelers Nation Unite, the team's official loyalty program.
Following the chat, the attention shifted to the field and kickoff, as members could be found at the center of a number of game day events on Sunday evening, including the Terrible Towel Unfurl and the Players Tunnel, on-field experiences which have become game day staples at Heinz Field.
Among the members standing on the grass as the players came running out for intros was Michael Potter, who traveled to Pittsburgh from Liverpool, England, for his first game at Heinz Field.
Having seen the team play for the first time at Wembley Stadium in 2013, he was hoping for a different result heading into Sunday's game. He certainly got his wish – and an added bonus of an up-close and personal experience with his favorite team.
"This is incredible. It's a dream. It really is. Just awesome looking at all this," said Potter, who was surprised with the opportunity to be on the field earlier in the week.
"I just typed on Twitter and tagged Steelers Nation Unite and the Steelers saying I was coming over for my first game in America," he explained. "I got a message from [Steelers Nation Unite] saying would you be interested coming down. I couldn't believe it at first. I thought it was maybe a gag."
Turns out, it was quite the opposite.
Also in attendance was a group of Steelers Nation Unite members from throughout Texas, who have been making an annual trip to a game for the last decade.
Organized by SNU member Carissa Benavides, the group has grown throughout the years.
"It actually started with my friend, she is from Pittsburgh, and my first trip was with her and her father, and I just got the bug," she said. "All of these ladies are on the road with me. It started out with two, and then three, and then five, and then seven and now we're at 10."
Being from Texas and only being able to get to one game each season, the group has enjoyed the benefits of being members of Steelers Nation Unite.
"Steelers Nation Unite keeps us closer to the fans. We feel a connection to the Steelers by signing up with SNU," she said.
The benefits for members didn't stop on Sunday night, either. Steelers Nation Unite is committed to bringing exclusive benefits and opportunities to all fans all year long. On Monday afternoon, a group of 150 fans, including season ticket holders and Steelers Nation Unite members, were treated to a truly unique and memorable opportunity.
Over the past couple weeks, these fans had received invites to a Hall of Fame Luncheon inside the PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field. This invite-only event was held to honor seven Steelers Hall of Famers, as they received new rings to commemorate their enshrinement.
In attendance were Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney and former Steelers Dermontti Dawson, Mel Blount, Franco Harris, John Stallworth, Joe Greene and Lynn Swann. Following lunch, the crowd was treated to a conversation with all seven men and heard stories of their playing days and what it was like when they got the call for the Hall. They then witnessed the presentation of new Hall of Fame rings to Mr. Rooney and the former Steelers greats.
For Bob McGowan and his family, who came in from Johnstown, PA, it was the perfect way to cap off a fun weekend on Pittsburgh's North Shore.
"It's unbelievable. I can remember back to the '75 and '76 Super Bowls and seeing the pictures of them when they were young and all the plays they made," McGowan said. "Many of them we were at Three Rivers Stadium to see it."
To join Steelers Nation Unite and give yourself a chance to get rewarded with these types of unforgettable experiences, visit SteelersNationUnite.com now to sign up for free. Each week brings new opportunities and interactions that fans can only get by joining Steelers Nation Unite.