THE unique atmosphere generated at Sheffield Steelers’ games is the biggest single asset identified by the club’s paying customers (all three of them!) – Much more significant than the team and the sport itself. In fact, some Steelers fans are so enamoured by the atmosphere that some have even tried to re-create the atmosphere at home! Some have installed cushioned blue seats with no legroom, others have hired a male Birmingham native to shout very loudly in to a microphone, which is followed by several minutes of total silence.

That is one of the surprise findings in a university survey where consultants are paid an awful lot of money to state the completely obvious. The exercise, supported locally by Sheffield University researchers laughing all the way to the bank, is the first such project undertaken by club bosses who are desperately short of ideas and want to meet their existing fans’ needs (all three of them) and bring in new support (on free ticket giveaway’s)
While some outsiders may deem it strange that the team and the sport lies second in the supporters’ list of approval behind the ambiance created at the Arena, it is also a tribute to the creative way “shows” are put together. Or it just shows that the Steelers fan base is a bit thick, and the old Yorkshire adage of “We don’t like change” runs strong through the fans (all three of them!)
The report quoted a fan, who said: “The friendly atmosphere along with no swearing (except at Panthers matches, we can’t stand them bastards) is a far cry from that of the typical football match.”
The top six ingredients to a Steelers night are, in order: Whinging, whining, moaning, backbiting, bitching and more whinging.

Another surprise comes in fans’ perceptions of fighting on the ice. Previously, it was assumed by some that most fans liked watching fisticuffs on ice. But researchers declare: “Fighting doesn’t really appeal to the group as much as it used to in the early days.” In response to this, and wanting to appear that they are listening to the fans, the Steelers management have signed the softest roster in franchise history.
In terms of value to the business, the most valuable fans, according to the report, are 45 to 54-year-olds. They are the ones who may, begrudgingly, spend up to £2 on a hot beverage, but “only if it’s cold mind”

Demographically, the researchers believed that “affluent blue-collar workers” represented the largest proportion of the Steelers’ overall fan base (2 people)- describing them as”the most loyal and profitable of Steelers fans”. (They’ll park in the Arena car park)
These are labelled as “older manual workers with a good standard of living in comfortable semis where traditional working-class values are held” and with “no interest in the internet” because “We don’t like change” 

Other statements made by the academics:

Most fans attend regularly, but do not become season ticket holders because, as one participant said “£300, paid out at once, are you mad man!”.

Fans are “frustrated at having to pay separately for iceSheffield games”.

Supporters want to attend some practice sessions, in order to see if they really are as bad as they appear on a game night.

Nottingham Panthers have are superior merchandising range product in every single department.

The under-18s “are fundamentally a pain in the arse”

Leaflet drops designed to bring in new fans in target areas like Dronfield, Hackenthorpe and Chapeltown are said to have been of “significant value” to the Nottingham Panthers, as a visit to Sheffield has sent most supporters down the M1 in search of some proper entertainment.


1 Response to “From the Press #5 – Steelers Survey”

  1. 1 Daphne Honeybutt July 16, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Hence the old Yorkshire adage “Eat all, Drink All, Pay Nowt and if ever tha does owt for nowt mek sure tha does if for thee sen”

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