The recent transfer of ownership of the MetroStars from Anschutz Entertainment Group to Red Bull Company Limited was received by the Tri-State soccer community with mixed emotions. Since that historic event, members (a.k.a. Nationals) of MetroNation, a fan club of 40+ debuting just last year on February 21 under the red and black stripes and crest of the former MetroStars franchise; engaged in intense, impassioned debate and contemplation. The MetroNation Trustees formally met with the Red Bull Front Office (RBFO) to share their concerns about the impact of the new ownership transition on the burgeoning fan club.
As a consequence of multiple rounds of voting, the largest percentage of current Nationals have voted to embrace this new era as an organization now under the New York Red Bulls (NYRB) colors and crest by renaming the club as "RagingBullNation: The Proud and Passionate 12th Man of the 'Raging Reds'" (www.RagingBullNation.net).
"This is just one of many important steps in our comprehensive "rebranding" initiative-a very significant milestone for an organization barely more than a year old," said Chief Officer, Marc Bernarducci.
"Our focus has been and always will be the team, which has entered a new phase," Bernarducci added. "For us, the definition of team is more than merely the color or design of a uniform, or name of an owner. Rather, the players are collectively the NYRB team. Those returning familiar faces and newly signed faces were ALL former MetroStars before March 9, 2006. Importantly, we will also welcome and support those who follow in their footsteps, proudly playing for the NYRB colors, from this day forward."
Ultimately, this is about relationships-between the fans, players, coaches, staff, media, soccer community, etc. Going forward as an independently governed and operated but collaborative New Jersey nonprofit corporation, it is our commitment to preserve and build upon these relationships, which we have worked so hard to cultivate, especially with the players and coaches. Furthermore, this realignment will enable us to execute our Mission and achieve our Vision, which we have also revised accordingly:
We are a New York Red Bulls fan club whose core functions are to support the team, enhance their match-day environment inside and outside the stadium, and provide a conduit through which their most passionate fans can actively participate with the New York Red Bulls family.
To be a unique New York Red Bulls fan club for all, whose membership personifies the virtues of teamwork, outreach, passion, community, and compassion; and whose status is widely respected by all soccer enthusiasts.
The decision to rename ourselves does not mean we are disregarding or disrespecting our MetroStars roots. Remember, we all began as MetroStars fans. As our organization works cohesively to advance our subsequent "rebranding," we plan to acknowledge this history symbolically, beginning with our new "national flag banner," which we hope to continue to display proudly in front of "The RB Corral" (Section 115). Thus, we respect the past, embrace the present, and look to the future, in support of our team, the New York Red Bulls.