The Steelers fan base truly is worldwide, with unwavering support coming from countless fans who live abroad and right here in the United States.
Among the areas where some of the most enthusiastic and passionate fans in the world are is Mexico, where the love for the black and gold runs deep.
Throughout the years the team has found multiple ways to engage with their fans in Mexico, and this year was no different.
Najee Harris, the Steelers 2021 No. 1 draft pick and Pro Bowl selection, spent draft weekend in Mexico City, taking part in events with fans and Steelers’ influencers. This included a special cooking class with Chef Aquiles, a Mexican celebrity chef and die-hard Steelers fan.
On Sunday, Harris hosted a youth skills camp at a local school with 30-plus young football players.
“I wanted to explore Mexico City,” said Harris. “I had never been out of the country, so I’m interested in learning about different cultures and food.
“The support there, that was crazy how big the Steelers are there. All the fans that showed up, every time I stepped out people recognized me, that was pretty dope. It was very exciting, such a big fan base.”
Harris’ magnetic personality made him a natural to spend time with the fans, always smiling and posing for pictures, as well as bringing the game to a new generation of fans with the youth clinic.
“That was my favorite part about the trip,” said Harris. “It was great to see how much they know about the sport, this was the best part.”
The Mexico fan base was also represented in Las Vegas at the site of the 2022 NFL Draft, as Steelers fans Paulina Aguado and Mariana Peniche, who are from Mexico City, won a Steelers Nation en Espanol Sweepstakes and represented Steelers Nation in the Inner Circle at the draft and announced the Steelers sixth round pick.
Fans in Mexico have been passionate about the Steelers since the Super Bowl years, and when the Steelers played a preseason game in Mexico City in 2001, the outpouring of love and support from the fans created a long-standing commitment to continue to bring Steelers football to the fan base in various ways.
The team hosted an annual football camp in Mexico prior to the pandemic, with current and former players on hand to teach skills to fans of all ages, including holding youth clinics. In recent years groups of fans have travel from Mexico to Heinz Field for a home game, and the team hosts a welcome party for all of them to show their appreciation.
The Steelers also provide online content for their Spanish-speaking fans, with original content on the website, mobile app and Spanish social media accounts.
These are all commitments the team plans to continue and to grow, especially given the fact the team was one of nine NFL clubs granted expanded rights in Mexico as part of the League’s International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) program in December.
“We look forward to having more direct contact with our fans in Mexico, which will include more focus on events, social engagement, and a potential regular-season game,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II in a statement in December. “Over the years we have seen support grow from our Mexican fans both in Mexico and at games at Heinz Field and on the road, and this initiative will allow us to develop even greater relationships in Mexico. This is a really exciting time for our Spanish speaking fans worldwide, especially those in Mexico.”