At halftime of Atlanta United’s first ever preseason match in Chattanooga, the club promised everyone a presentation that “You don’t want to miss!” — They delivered on that promise by surprising a group of around 50 supporters with a special gift and introducing a meaningful piece of the franchise’s history in the process.
A handful of supporters from each of the club’s supporter groups were chosen to participate in the special “stunt” as the club referred to it. They were not told anything other than where to be at halftime.
Curtis Jenkins is the President of one of the groups, Footie Mob, and he tells Dirty South Soccer they had no idea what was coming.
“They led us all down to the edge of the field,” Jenkins said. “And started passing out the gold boxes. None of us had any clue what was in the boxes. Looked like a box for champagne, to be honest.”
You don't want to miss this! #UniteAndConquerPosted by Atlanta United FC on Saturday, February 11, 2017
What was inside is a source of a bit of controversy around the fan base. When opened, a light grey jersey with thin lines and red lettering was pulled from the box. It was the club’s official secondary kit, unveiled for all to see by the club’s supporters themselves.
While the kits themselves weren’t much of a shock seeing as they had leaked onto the internet several months prior to this special day, the manner in which they were finally made official was truly brilliant. Holding a standalone event to reveal a kit everyone knew was coming would’ve been a mistake. Doing it in this fashion was refreshing and new.
“It went over great with everyone in our group,” Jenkins said of the unveiling. “It was fun and unexpected.”
What made the event even cooler was the fact that the team came out of the locker room wearing the newly released kit to play the second half.
Opinions will vary on whether or not the kit is stylistically good or bad. It seems no matter who you ask they have a differing view. But, it’s undeniable that the manner in which they were released onto the world was very creative.
One of the lucky few to be included in the unveiling was Footie Mob member Parker King. He tells DSS that he appreciates how the club are including all the groups as one in their plans.
“I thought it was a very nice gesture, the day after they dedicate that number 17 to the fans, they involve the fans in a total surprise of the kit unveiling,” King said. “We had no clue that Atlanta United was doing anything but they needed us for a stunt. I love how they're getting the fans together and getting the momentum rolling for this inaugural season.”
Atlanta United continue to find new and innovative ways to connect with their fans and build up their relationship with the supporters. This is a great sign for the future as we’ve only just begun this long journey that is Atlanta United.