New York Red Bulls to Include Fans’ Names in Jersey Numbers

Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls are inviting season-ticket holders on the field for their exhibition game against Tottenham Hotspur of England’s Premier League.

While the fans won’t actually be in uniform for the July 31 game at Red Bull arena in Harrison, New Jersey, their names will.

The names of more than 600 season-ticket holders will be included in the fabric of the numbers on the back of the jerseys worn by Red Bulls players, including forward Thierry Henry.

For legal reasons season-ticket holders must opt-in to the offer, Chris Heck, the team’s president of business operations, said in a telephone interview. The Red Bulls have about 7,000 season-ticket holders, he said.

“This unique integration is our way of saying thank-you and that, together, we are one team,” Heck said.

Fans who participate are eligible to receive a signed, game-worn jersey.

Additionally, a randomly selected group of season-ticket holders will take part in pre- and post-game ceremonies.

Tottenham, whose roster includes American goaltender Brad Friedel, finished fourth in the English Premier League this past season behind Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Fans whose names appear in the jersey will be able to order a replica, Heck said.

Julie Leone, who has held three season tickets since the team’s inception as the MetroStars in 1996, said in a telephone interview she was grateful for the promotion because it makes her feel like a valued customer.

“It’s a nice way to pay tribute to the season-ticket holders,” said Leone, a 39-year-old resident of Whippany, New Jersey. “The MLS is pretty good with that, as compared to Major League Baseball or football where they have such huge fan bases.”

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