If you’re from Pittsburgh, you know the word “Yinz” is a colloquialism that originated from “you-uns,” the equivalent of today’s “y’all.”
So when the Pittsburgh Steelers introduced their new mobile app-based game, YinzChat, it was an invitation to all Yinzers to come together for a unique, communal experience around their favorite football club.
The concept, which combines live chats, social media, team trivia and predictive gaming, was first developed as a pilot project in 2020. Since then, the game has continued to grow and evolve — and is now an important part of the team’s mobile strategy.
“We believe in social gamification,” explained Dan Rooney, the team’s Director of Business Development & Strategy, who helped establish this unique digital product from the outset. “So, as you’re making picks and digesting Steelers content, you’re chatting about it with your friends or family. And whether that’s trash talk or rooting the team on together, or just expressing your opinions, we want fans to be able to connect with each other underneath this Steeler’s hub.”
“It’s really a souped-up group chat. You’re talking with your favorite Steelers crew and also competing against them… And, at the end of each week, there’s a winner that gets crowned as the most knowledgeable Steelers fan based on their performance within their group.”
The Steelers took the pilot concept and adapted it to fit within the team’s existing mobile app ecosystem. Fans can now play YinzChat for free simply by creating an app profile. The game is accessible in key locations throughout the team’s app and is tied into their push notification strategy. Promotion of the game is also weaved into Steelers-produced content; each week, questions are promoted in video and audio programming. A unique Twitter handle has also been developed to help further promote the game on social.
Following the launch of the pilot, a second iteration of the game was launched as a native product on the YinzCam platform in 2021 and was focused on private groups where fans could compete with friends and family. A third version of the game was released for the 2022 NFL season that also includes public competition.
Now, fans have an option to create an invitation-only group for friends and family with bragging rights on the line, or can play on their own vs. all of Steelers Nation for a chance to win prizes.
Each week, participants can answer 3 Steelers trivia questions each day, Monday through Saturday, as well as a series of predictive questions on game day. For the predictive questions, participants can tap up or tap down to choose between two options, such as, who will have more touchdown catches — George Pickens or Diontae Johnson? Who will have more sacks — T.J. Watt or Cameron Heyward?
The manner in which fans make their picks is unique as well, with a playing cards, tap-to-pick layout.
The fan who sits atop the leaderboard with the highest point total at the end of each week will win an autographed Steelers item, as well as a $100 gift card to the Steelers Pro Shop. But that’s not all! Fans who compete week in and week out will also have a chance to win the Grand Prize of a road trip to Kansas City for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Through the first four weeks of the season, the team has been pleased with both the number of contestants as well as week-over-week retention.
“The profile creation process is easy and the game is free to play,” said Rooney. “We hope that once a fan starts to play, they then invite other fans to participate, who then create a profile as well. The game also gives our fans yet another reason to go into our app every day.”
“From a sticky, engagement standpoint, we hope that the fans who participate find YinzChat to be enjoyable and educational, too. There’s a component where these trivia questions we’re asking… we want to see who’s knowledgeable, but they’ll walk away learning who the all-time interception leader is in Steelers’ history, for instance.”
The Steelers are already thinking about future enhancements and incentives to play, including Steelers alumni groups for fans to compete against, and bigger and better prizes.
Although YinzCam had no part in the naming of the Steelers’ new game, we were proud to work closely with our local Pittsburgh franchise, like we do with all of our innovative clients on their big ideas, to help bring the YinzChat to life. The product involved a close collaboration with the Steelers over a period of many months. We worked together to fine-tune the game-play, the in-game chat, the private-group play, the use of emoji reactions, and many new features. We also loved the incorporation of Steely McBeam in the game-play.
The ease of game-play with the flow of connect (login), create (private groups), chat (talk to your friends and family), compete (to win prizes), made this game unique amongst all the other ones we’ve developed.
“We’ve had a great relationship with (YinzCam),” agreed Rooney on our long-standing partnership. “They are attentive every day to our aspirations around the game of YinzChat. They are enthusiastic about what we’re trying to produce for the Steelers name here and they’ve done a great job rolling out a game that we’re proud of. We’ve loved working with YinzCam on this execution.”
Download the Official Steelers Mobile App to play YinzChat today!