Starting in 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers fans can expect to both get a new look on the field from the franchise they love while at the same time seeing more of the same.
- How’s that you ask?
In a rare holiday weekend press release, the Steelers announce that starting in 2018 the Pittsburgh Steelers logos on appear on both sides of the helmet. Here is the official statement:
For the first time since adopting the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) in 1962, the Pittsburgh Steelers logo will adorn both sides of the Steelers helmet starting in Opening Day 2018. During its 56 years of use by the Steelers, the hypocycloid logo has come to symbolize excellence on the football field. Displaying the logo on both sides the helmet will highlight that legacy of excellence while generating increased exposure for the City of Pittsburgh.
The move of course won’t impact the Steelers fortunes on the field. That will continue to be determined by the performance of players like Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, JuJu Smith-Schuster Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Joe Haden and their supporting casts.
But digital marketing expert Marco James from Crespo Marketing suggests the move could pay dividends, explaining: “We live in a Twitterized world where the space you have to present your brand is limited, and attention spans are short. This ‘win-win’ move effectively doubles the exposure the Steelers logo gets when the attention level of their target audience is at its highest.”
A Brief History of the Steelers Hypocycloid Logo
The Pittsburgh Steelers logo draws its roots from the US steel industry. The yellow hypocycloid represents coal, the orange one for iron and the blue one scrap metal, the 3 ingredients in steel.
- Accounts of how the Steelers came to use the hypocycloid differ.
Republic Steel of Cleveland takes credit for making the suggestion in 1962, but in his book Ruanaidh, Art Rooney Jr. suggests that John Reger, a former Pitt linebacker who was a walk on with the Steelers, first proposed the Steelers adopt the AISI logo.
- Cutting through the red tape needed to adopt the AISI logo took time, and it also resulted in another change.
The Steelers had used gold helmets since 1955, but the logo did not stand out well against gold, so the Steelers switched them to black. Reportedly the Steelers made the switch in time for the franchise’s first post-season game ever, their 17-10 loss suffered against the Detroit Lions in Miami Beach in January 1963.
- Stories also differ on why the logo was only put on one side.
Some say it was because the team didn’t know how well it would work. Others have said it was because there was a shortage of stickers. Art Rooney Jr. however insists that Steelers equipment manager Jack Hart simply wanted cut his work load in half.
Rooney on the Steelers Logo Change
Because the announcement came on Easter Sunday, no Steelers employees were available to answer questions in an official capacity. However, freelance reporter Ridley Rupert caught up with a member of the Rooney family at St. Peters on Pittsburgh’s North Side as he was leaving Easter Sunday mass. When questioned why the team chose today to announce this move, Rooney responded:
Easter is a time of renewal. And this year Easter Sunday falls on April 1st, so I can’t think of a better day to announce we’re putting the logo on both sides of the helmet.
With that, the esteemed member of Pittsburgh’s first family flashed a mischievous grin, got into his car and drove away……