Atlanta United has launched a series of billboard celebrating Pride and Atlanta’s LGBTQ community.
The campaign, which launched Monday (October 18), features several billboards across Atlanta bearing a rainbow flag, the words “United and Proud,” and the images of some of Atlanta United’s LGBTQ supporters, including Ryan Keesee.
“It’s very surreal, it’s super cool,” Keesee told Georgia Voice about seeing himself on the billboard.“It means a lot as far as visibility and being able to see the team stand behind the LGBTQ community and make a stance of having the image broadcast around the city. A lot of folks will be able to see that and know the team is with us, so that’s great.”
Atlanta United has been a vocal supporter of Atlanta’s LGBTQ community since before its inaugural season in 2017; the team marched in the 2016 Atlanta Pride parade. Even though Pride was canceled this year and Atlanta United couldn’t participate in the usual festivities, they still wanted to ensure Atlanta’s LGBTQ community felt supported and seen.
“We decided to do something outwardly focused, not particularly focused on our team or Atlanta United but highlighting our supporters and the [LGBTQ] community in general,” Mike Summers, the head of marketing and digital for Atlanta United, told Georgia Voice. “It’s a campaign about being united and proud. Half of our content and messaging is focused on the team and our players, half is supporting the culture of Atlanta. It’s very difficult to support the culture of Atlanta without acknowledging the LGBTQ community, so this was a moment for us to celebrate our supporters, celebrate the community, and celebrate love in general.”