On Monday Night Football,
Hank Williams has sung about rabid Steelers fans for years.
And, Sports Illustrated's Ross Tucker believes what he sees
That is, Steelers fans are the best in the NFL and take away a home team's advantage! Don't just take Hank Jr.'s or Ross' opinion. ESPN's Matt Mosley says the Steelers fans are the best too!
Yes – I'm a rabid Steelers fan and we are the best!
Do your fans travel with you across the country, wave things, applaud and cheer till they're hoarse and try to convert others? If not, why not?
When the steel industry finally collapsed in the 1970s, it coincided with the
rise of the Steelers dynasty and the team helped lift people's spirits – believe me I was there and am still here bleeding black and gold!
A generation of young people left the city to find work elsewhere, but
they remained passionate about the Steelers and that's what you'll see in Tampa today at the Super Bowl. The Arizona Cardinals may be the designated home team, but with thousands of Steelers fans waving their Terrible Towels, it will be like playing in Heinz Field back in Pittsburgh.
Here's my take on why the Steelers are one of the strongest brands around.
- Stable Authentic Ownership and Leadership – The Steelers have had the same stable family ownership in the Rooney's and consistent management style since 1933. Since 1969, they've only had three head coaches, Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. They hire well, are patient and get out of the way of the people they hire and let them do their job.
- Clearly Defined and Developed Brand with deep customer insights - The Steelers brand epitomizes and complements their town and fans. That is, both are strong, tough, hard working, no nonsense and blue collar and that's how both play their respective games.
- There is no "I" in Team – Today, the Steelers aren't Ben Roethlisberger's team, just like it wasn't Terry Bradshaw's, Franco Harris' or Joe Greene's team in the '70s. The Steelers brand is dominated by a complete team – the sum of all its parts – and no superstar drives the bus. This is a big reason with they have 17 Hall of Famers – congratulations Rod Woodson!
- Blocking and tackling fundamentals – The Steelers success has always been attributed to running the ball and great defense (ever hear of the Steel Curtain?) which is the basic fundamentals of Pro Football since it began. They do the basics well.
- Recognize that the Steelers brand belongs to its fans. The Steelers recognize that they are stewards of their brand and consider (not make) decisions based on what their fans will think.
Win or lose today, the Steelers will still be the number one sports team in Pittsburgher's hearts. And, next season will be a sold out one at Heinz Field.