Tour 2023 delivers Stateside success through record fan engagement

Monday 07 August 2023 14:30

Manchester United’s summer tour of the United States provided not only a lasting legacy of priceless memories for existing supporters but also aided the expansion of the club’s fan engagement with the creation of seven new official supporters’ clubs.

The new ‘Red Army’ strongholds can now be found in San Francisco in California, Houston in Texas, Orlando in Florida, Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, across the state of New Jersey and in the ‘Motor City’ of Detroit, Michigan – taking the total number of Manchester United supporter clubs to 284 across 94 different countries.

Across the two-week tour, United completed pre-season fixtures against high quality opposition which presented an opportunity for fans in each of the four host cities to see Erik ten Hag’s team play ‘live’ – often for the first time.

The US games were watched live by massive attendances which approached a quarter of a million, including a record for a football game when United played Arsenal at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in front of 82,262 fans.

Outside of the important minutes on the pitch, the club also used the opportunity of being Stateside to galvanise the huge support that exists for the club. Following the successful fan-engagement activity in New York and New Jersey, the club held a wide range of official supporter events in Houston, San Diego and Las Vegas.

More than 5,000 fans gathered at the official events organised by the club, which ranged from soccer-school experiences to yacht trips, legend Q&As and watching the team train. Throughout the Tour, the club worked with its official supporters' clubs and local charities to provide ticket giveaways as well as gifting fans club memorabilia and signed shirts.

Rick McGagh, head of fan engagement, said: “The support the club receives not just from the United States, but all corners of the globe, demonstrates the immense appeal that Manchester United has for millions of people.

“Some of us are lucky to be able to visit Old Trafford each week, but we must always remember those fans, often thousands of miles away, who live and breathe this famous football club. The pride in all of the groups who acquired the title of a Manchester United official supporters’ club was clear to see, and we welcome them to the United family.

“This summer has set the benchmark for our global fan engagement and has shown what is possible. We look forward to continuing our efforts to build on the success and deepen relations with our loyal fanbase around the world this season and beyond.”

Memories to last a lifetime


United leave New York and New Jersey having made an impact on tens of thousands of fans.


In New Jersey, Liam Brown, who leads the New Jersey 7s, explained the pride felt by all the newly recognised fan clubs when he said: “We are so excited to become an official Manchester United supporters’ club. For most of us, we live and breathe Manchester United. I personally have been a United member for over 20 years traveling all over to watch our beloved Reds.

“More often than not though I watch with a large contingent of other United fans from New Jersey at Mulligans Pub in Hoboken. Mulligans is New Jerseys main Football HQ. Its walls are draped in classic football shirts and we’ve been lucky enough to have United legends such as Gary Neville, Andy Cole and Paddy Crerand join us in the past.

“Northern New Jersey has a great connection with Manchester United as alumni include Tim Howard as well as Giuseppe Rossi. For our group to become an official supporters’ club of United is a huge deal. It means we get to be part of the larger Manchester United family with direct access to the club.

“Not only that, but we get to represent the club. We are a very diverse group and that can only add to what the Reds community stands for. I'd like to thank the club for everything they did for our members on Tour - memories were made for a lifetime during this trip and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”

United's pre-season in numbers


We round up the Reds' summer campaign, after five countries host eight games across 25 days.

A similar sentiment was expressed by the Houston fan club whose spokesperson said: “It has been a dream of ours for the longest time to be an officially recognised chapter of the club. We have a strong and passionate fan base that gathers come rain or high water (which is often the case in Houston) in large numbers, even for the incredibly early games. We are loud, we love to sing all the chants, and want to let the world know that Houston is red! Our event at the NRG Stadium, where Wes Brown joined over 350 of our members, was a great way to start as an official club.”

Matthew Crisp reports that the Orlando Red Army started eight years ago and has grown from five fans to 550. He said: “We’ve always had aspirations of becoming an official supporters’ group. And today achieving that ambition, it’s really an indescribable feeling, like seeing Old Trafford for the first time or watching Rashford net the winner. I’m extremely thankful for our members and the family that we’ve created being United! United! United!'

Sean Greig is the lead for the Pittsburgh Reds who meet in the Bulldog Pub and the group boasts 50 members from the Pittsburgh area. In Detroit, Alex Valentine praised the role of Jef Smith (from the Loaded Dice Brewery) for his support in being host to the club which now also has 50 members. While in the Bay Area of San Francisco, the fans at Danny Coyle’s Bar are thrilled to join United’s ever-growing global band of loyal supporters.