Building A Fan Base: Supporters Groups And Atlanta United

May 28, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United fans in the yell from the stands during the first half against New York City FC at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
May 28, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United fans in the yell from the stands during the first half against New York City FC at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

This is the first in a four-part weekly series focusing on one of those aspects of the sport of soccer that we all see and have just thought of as: “Part of the Experience…”

The Supporters Groups… and there are a few of them wrapping themselves around Atlanta United as a part of the #17’s you see on kits all over the place in the Southeast…

The four officially recognized groups that you will see in the north end zone at Bobby Dodd Stadium every home match are Terminus Legion, Resurgence, The Faction, and Footie Mob.

Each has their own personality and approach to the game and the game day experience. But the questions about starting something organic and having it instantly be a part of the fabric of the franchise is worth exploring, as other expansion franchises (and those in place as well) might see how these four act as one come home matches.

Let’s start at the beginning

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Each group has a creed, mission, and a set of goals that are to be adhered to at all times…

Terminus Legion’s…


Footie Mob…

And The Faction can be found here…

Let the Round Table Begin!

First question:

What does your creed/by-laws mean to those in the group and how long did it take to come up with those words and ideas?

Austin Long/Terminus Legion President

The mission helps guide the organization and provides members with a sense of responsibility and purpose. Our goal is to welcome all fans and to support Atlanta soccer with unrivaled support regardless of the result.

Sam Veal/Resurgence Co-Founder

Our creed and by-laws actually fell together fairly quickly during our formation; our ideals were what drew us all together. Our creed is specific, but one that is general enough to where both members from day one and members one hour ago feel an equal stake in “ownership.”

Curtis Jenkins/Footie Mob President

The by-laws are pretty cut and dry, not a lot had to go into that per se. Our creed/ethos came from a passion for the city, its people, and culture. It didn’t take that long because it’s always been something close to my heart.

Kevin Kinley/The Faction Co-Founder

It took us quite a while to come up with our mission. The mission and creed mean everything to us because the founders created them and every member believes in us to carry them out. The bylaws were easy since the founders all live within a quarter-mile of each other and hang our often together.

What does it mean to be as integral a part of the club and the atmosphere from the beginning? The club embraced you from Day One…

Long: TL via Atlanta Wants MLS is a wonderful part of this story. From a petition to generate interest to contact from Arthur Blank to an invitation to the club’s announcement to the inaugural match, TL has been there every step of the way. The club has welcomed supporters with open arms and is working to create memorable experiences for Atlanta soccer fans.

Veal: Resurgence was created to put forth an effort to be the loudest group in the stadium, and we knew that the key to attracted passionate people was accessibility. Regardless of any race, gender, sexual identity, able-ism, or financial status, we’re all a part of a vessel to support this club, and to do it loudly! AUFC has recognized that and it was an easy relationship from the beginning – we both love the game with equal fervor, and we relish our relationship with the front office. Not all SGs in MLS are so lucky.

Jenkins: It’s kind of surreal. Nothing like this exists in any other area of fandom. It’s fun, but it’s also a responsibility to the players and the other fans to set an example and expectation of support.

Kinley: We were the last group to be official. It took a lot of persuading the club and others to include us. Now, we all have a responsibility to the club.

What’s it like being a part of something larger with the other three?

Long: No one group could create the match day atmosphere we have experienced thus far. Each contributes something to make every match day an amazing time. From the tailgate to the march to the game, the groups are working together to create the best possible experience for our members and the fans of Atlanta United. We are excited and blessed to be working with such great supporters.

Veal: There are several differences between all the SGs from the ground up, but we’ve acknowledged those differences and put our strengths to the forefront. Most importantly, when we march in the stadium and stand together in our section, we’re all the same body. We have the same mission at that point: to make our opposition as absolutely uncomfortable as possible. Are we successful? I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Chicago.

Jenkins: It’s good, interesting. Everyone has their own ideas and the spirit of compromise is always in the air because we all have the common goal of supporting the team.

Kinley: It’s great. We all have different ideas and it’s something special when all 4 of us get together to do something.

Now, the “crystal ball question”: Look five years or so down the line, how would you like to see supporter group involvement grow and evolve?

Long: I would like see the seats in front of the window become a red and black wall similar to other Supporters Sections both in MLS and around the world. Our efforts thus far are just the beginning and the potential for game day culture is unlimited because we have passionate and creative fans. We want to turn Mercedes-Benz into a fortress complete with songs full of fun and passion and relevance while creating tifos of scale and design that will be the envy of global soccer culture.

Veal: In five years, I want this section to be known as a group of people who are loud and passionate, of course, but I’d love to be known as the most *fun* section in all of MLS. I want our intimidating chance, but I’d also love a cheeky song or two. I’d love to see moments where we don’t take ourselves so seriously, and we all can have a quick laugh. And, of course, laughing is easier with a few cups to lean back on.

Jenkins: I’d love to see it become more unique to MLS and soccer in general. To us, it shouldn’t look or sound like any other fan base in the world. Atlanta has a unique story and background that should carry through culturally.

Kinley: We’d like for the Atlanta United supporter groups to do more in the community. The inside the stadium experience is important, but the game is way more than that. It’s connecting people of all kinds, giving back, paying forward, being inclusive and using the game to be better people.

Next: Miguel Almiron Named MLS Player Of The Week

That’s Part One… over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look behind the scenes at more activities and responsibilities the Supporters Groups have as they get to be a part of the Atlanta United inaugural season…

Supporters Group Members: What do you think about your experiences so far in the first season for the franchise?

Let us know in the Comments Section below…