The Pittsburgh Steelers have been awarded the rights to expand their brand to Ireland.
“We are excited to have been granted the rights to engage more deeply with our fans in Ireland,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a news release. “My family has deep roots throughout Ireland and being able to connect with our fans across the Island is something special to our organization. My father did so much in Ireland during his lifetime, first as one of the founders of the Ireland Funds, then as Ambassador. We look forward to growing our fan base and the love of American football in the years to come.”
That means the Steelers can carry out fan and youth football activities and participate in corporate sponsorship and merchandise sales.
The Steelers and Chicago Bears played a preseason game in 1997 at Dublin’s Croke Park, the only NFL game to ever be played in Ireland. The game was made possible in large part to the Steelers’ late chairman, Dan Rooney, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.
The team has already launched dedicated Irish social media accounts and intends to hold a market event this season by hosting a fan watch party. As part of its long-term planning, the team aspires to return to the island to play an NFL game.
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