A football team president doesn’t run the ball into the end zone, but he can help ensure the crowd cheers. As president of the Seattle Seahawks and head of Paul Allen’s sports operations, Peter McLoughlin wants fans to have the best experience, inside the stadium and out.
“We have the best, loudest fans in the entire National Football League,” McLoughlin beams. “The passion our fans bring to the stadium, our players truly feed off that.”
In his seven years in Seattle, McLoughlin has done much to feed that enthusiasm by strengthening the Seahawks brand through more retail outlets, upgrading facilities at CenturyLink Field and reaching out through community involvement and fan events.
Engaging with fans has been McLoughlin’s top priority, in part through a Fan Advisory Council. Since 2013, a dozen season-ticket holders have shared their thoughts with McLoughlin and his team. “It helps make sure we are on the right track, to learn how they are experiencing their game day,” he explains.
The feedback has driven changes from better security to improved maintenance of restrooms. “When the customer tells you something,” he says, “it’s our job to fulfill that.”
This singular emphasis on fans has paid off in the city’s enthusiasm for the Seahawks, most notably after the team’s Super Bowl championship in 2014. By the end of the 2016 season, the Seahawks had the highest ranking of all teams in the NFL’s Voice of the Fan Survey.
“That,” McLoughlin says, “reinforces that our focus on our fans is being appreciated.”