"As a fan, you look at things sometimes and you think, 'what were they thinking?'" said Bob Tyler, director of finance and chief financial officer for the Steelers, during a luncheon at the Parkersburg Country Club.
"We hated to lose, for example, James Harrison," he said, referring to the popular linebacker who was released last year for financial reasons and ended up signing with the division rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Bob Tyler, director of finance and chief financial officer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, speaks during his presentation to the Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley Thursday at the Parkersburg Country Club.
WesBanco Vice President David E. Lewis, left, chats with Bob Tyler, director of finance and chief financial officer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, after Tyler's presentation to the Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley Thursday at the Parkersburg Country Club.
was the last featured speaker of the season for the Roundtable
, a local economic educational group.
started out discussing the NFL's labor situation and the lockout before the 2011 season.
said the current collective bargaining agreement assures "labor peace" in the league for a decade and more accurately reflects financial risk and reward.
Players had been receiving more than half the revenue, although owners assumed the most financial risk.
It was an issue the players' union recognized, the disagreement leading to the work stoppage was over how to address it, Tyler
"It wasn't just a question of the owners saying, 'We're not making enough money here,'" he
One reason the NFL
has enjoyed so much success is that league officials are always looking for ways to improve, Tyler
"You can't stay complacent, and you can't stay in the same place, and that's part of what made us great," he
New initiatives in the league include expanding its presence outside the continental United States, with three regular season games slated to be played in London's Wembley Stadium this year.
traveled there in the 2013 season when the Steelers
faced the Minnesota Vikings, and saw fans wearing jerseys for teams from "all over the map."
"What we're seeing happening is people, as those teams come by, they're attaching their loyalties to those teams," he
"If I had to guess, I think at some point in time, we'll probably have a team in London," Tyler
Europe isn't the only international market for the NFL
noted games have been played in Mexico City in the past and that a study has shown the two most popular teams in Mexico are the nearby Dallas Cowboys and the Steelers
"We broadcast all our games into Mexico," he
said it's important to the Steelers
and other teams to make the fan experience as positive as possible.
acknowledged the increasing availability and declining price of large, high-definition televisions make staying home to watch a game more and more appealing.
"That's a very real challenge for us," Tyler
said, before adding, "I still believe there's nothing like actually that live experience."
organization has tried to improve the experience at the stadium by expanding bandwidth capacity so fans can get text messages and access the Internet on their phones at Heinz Field.
Wireless Internet options have also increased to enable people to access information on fantasy football, a hobby that continues to grow in popularity.
"To me, fans are still our core business," Tyler
On Wednesday evening, Tyler
held a question-and-answer session with Marietta College students in the school's McDonough Balcony.
had a few questions about how often he
interacts with players, but many were less focused on the football aspect of his
"Most of the questions were really, truly driven more toward career advice," he