At one point marketing expert Susan McGalla was adding new fashion designs and customer outreach ideas to American Eagle Outfitters, and now she’s doing it bigger than ever as Vice President of Business and Creative Strategy for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. She is in charge of rolling out jerseys and fan favorite souvenirs at the franchise’s pro shop and she announced some great additions recently. McGalla had the pro shop website redone to make shopping even better for those with mobile devices, and items were added such as golf equipment and expensive jewelry with Steeler logos on them that fans have loved. Even the pro shop itself was redone recently and fans have expressed amazement over the ideas that McGalla and her staff have put into it, though they also had input from Steeler players and coaches.
Susan McGalla grew up in a rural community in eastern Ohio and may have gotten her love of football from her older brothers and her father who was a coach. She got her bachelor’s in business from Mount Union College and started her career working for the Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh. Her career at American Eagle started in 1994 as a local merchandising manager tasked with bringing in inventory to the women’s division, but she later moved into the corporate office and became Chief Merchandising Officer of the whole company. McGalla became a celebrated figure in Pittsburgh when she took the title of President of American Eagle and she was sometimes upheld as an icon for women breaking the norms in business, though she never came on-board with that narrative. But she was happy to see that American Eagle’s brand became more marketable to female customers as opposed to primarily males over the 16 years she served there.
Susan McGalla started serving in other executive positions in the years following leaving American Eagle including serving on the boards of HFF Inc. and also joining the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. She also founded P3 Executive Consulting and joined the Steelers’ business division not long after. She is also was a trustee at the University of Pittsburgh and has been an advisor to Mount Union College. McGalla has addressed other business women and has encouraged them not to approach their goals through the lens of being a woman, but to just look at it as a person.