Big Lead Sports Bar



I've always commented that no professional sports team treats their fans quite like the Pittsburgh Penguins. They've used players to deliver season tickets to people's homes. They've handed out pizza to people waiting in line for game tickets. Student rush. The outdoor viewing screen for playoff games. Free tickets for fans involved in the text message debacle. The list goes on and on and on. And this season, the team has added a new twist: randomly gifting game tickets to people sitting outside watching playoff games on the big screen:

Director of ticketing Chad Slencak has his own quiet routine. He walks through the crowd and looks for deserving candidates -- youngsters, families, college students, and just about anybody wearing team colors and waving banners.

"It makes you feel a little like Santa Claus. Faces just light up when they realize what they have," he said. "It's a goodwill gesture on our part for the small amount it costs us. The fans will remember. They'll tell their friends. We're building fans for life."

That's tickets to a playoff game, for no reason other than goodwill. Gestures like that are exactly why people are willing to sit and watch a game outside in the first place. The team has built up that strong of a bond with its fan base.

The concept of "Steeler Nation" gets a lot of ink, but Penguin Nation, or whatever you choose to call it, has closed the gap considerably, especially since the franchise's rebirth this decade. One thing is for sure: this city has no shortage of extremely passionate fans.

Free Penguins tickets like a winning goal for lucky fans [PG]

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expectingrain said...

I can't understand why hockey is not more popular, it is as exciting as football to watch.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

That guy the Pens let in the arena for free reduced the amount of Oxygen in the arena by one person thus causing the Caps to lose.


Ted Leonsis

Steve said...

Probably more exciting than football as there is more non-stop action and more hitting.

I'm glad the Pens organization has finally figured out what it takes to make and keep fans. Winning is one thing, but personalizing the experience and treating the fans more like family instead of walking, talking ATM machines is what will keep them a successful franchise for years to come.

Hint,hint Pirates.

SantoGold said...

I could also add "hint, hint Steelers". Very little in the way of "perks" (other than going to the games) offered to season ticket holders.

Pens are even more impressive since they are continuing their fan outreach even though they are now a strong team.

Unknown said...

Pens are truly an awesome franchise ran by totally gracious people. Pens rock!