Tifos take fan-made posters to a whole new level. These huge banners are often as large as whole sections or, in rare cases for pinnacle matches, cover an entire section.
One of the key tenets of the New Mexico United brand is the marriage of art and sport. The launch of our New Mexico United Local Artist Series propelled the creativity of our fanbase front and center in our team store, as well as the greater Albuquerque and United Soccer League communities, but art has spearheaded this movement from the beginning. Art is in the fabric of New Mexican culture and, therefore, the New Mexico United community. @205FrontRow is an Instagram handle only a few months old, but this artistic group has been creating tifos to drape over their section since May. These massive art installations have already had an immense impact on our players, fans and supporter culture.
This phenomenon of fan worship, affectionately referred to as tifos or tifosi—a shout-out to their Italian association football heritage—is often planned by supporters groups or commissioned by the football club itself. This break from tradition is only one of the many unique aspects of these tifos creating a true marvel at our matches. 205 Front Row was an organic movement steered by the small collective of season ticket holders: Jon, Eric, Joe, Steph, Derek, and Alaina, who banded together to collaborate on an original display of team support.
These season ticket holders collectively toyed with the idea of creating a tifo, but the idea which launched their movement came to Joe in a dream with the face of Santi Moar. He awoke to immediately hail his fellow 205 Front Row at 3:00 AM and met enthusiasm from his fellow supporters. This first tifo featured a pun of the Sensational Spaniard’s name reading ‘MOAR GOALS,’ with the font chosen in homage to our home jersey sponsor, Meow Wolf. They unveiled this first design at our Cinco de Mayo match, rolling out the large painted canvas after the national anthem from their upper deck seats for this one-time wonder. News and excitement over the tifo quickly spread throughout the New Mexico United supporters’ group and fans. 205 Front Row realized that they could not stop there and began looking for inspiration for their next creation. They approached the club to get insider insight about upcoming matches, so their tifos could be even more on point.
Utilizing players as inspiration, their following tifos feature a single member of New Mexico United’s team or technical staff with a colorful theme, each more impressive than the last. How do they create these gargantuan displays of hero worship? When you get a group of dedicated New Mexico United fans together there is nothing they cannot accomplish, especially with a good setup. To get the job done, they’ve erected four large plywood boards in their garage from which they drape a large blank canvas. This is when the magic begins and where they spend days on end painting large, imaginative tifos!
To answer rumors spreading throughout the nation, yes ‘Be A-Frater’ does, in fact, glow in the dark! This amazing tifo was so impressive that it won the United Soccer League’s Fan Appreciation Week contest for USL Top Five – Supporters’ Tifos.
The 205 Front Row’s well-timed ‘Better Call Cody’ tifo that, unbeknownst to them at the time, premiered on the night the Better Call Saul cast was in the stadium kicked off a tifo frenzy.
The 205 Front Row teaser close-ups and time-lapses of their tifo-making process on Instagram are gaining traction within the New Mexico United community.
These tifos have even inspired a movement among supporters, with other fans beginning to create their own amazing, painted banners. @2blondesmakeatifo, led by Lindsey Allen, who was our first signed artist of our Local Artist Series, have been smashing the tifo game this season with their hilarious two-pole creations. Learn more about Lindsey’s art in our blog ‘A Culmination of Fan Creativity.’
If you missed the incredible tifos from 205 Front Row at the match, be sure to stop by our team shop at 3500 Central Ave SE, Suite 2 to see their latest masterpiece and get your tickets to see what they come up with for our last games of the 2019 season.