Thank You For Your Support In Season 5

by Andres Trujillo

On Open Letter to the Community From Team Owner Andres Trujillo:

Runners familia! What can I say? We've made it through season 5 and this accomplishment is HUGE! I don't think many of you realize how important this is for our community. It shows that YOU are part of the equation that gives this community hope and positivity we all so desperately need. 

First, I would like to thank our fans for their continued support cheering us on even during our lows of the season. Our fan base is growing and you've never wavered. Thank you to the many businesses and organizations that partnered with us in season 5. Every business and organization has provided such amazing support for our team as we work together to help each other grow. That's why we call you partners!  Thank you to our players for your dedication to this team! With early mornings, long road trips, and time away from your families, you've made major sacrifices in the pursuit of your soccer passion as well as bringing inspiration to the young kids and families in our community. I can't thank you enough for this and our family owned sports team truly appreciates each of you! 

I'd also like to give a huge shoutout to the unsung heroes of our organization and that is our game day staff! Thank you so much for your belief in our vision and dedication to our product. It's because of you that our gameday operations are awesome and fans enjoy the experience. Many don't know that we have a very small staff that operates like there's a hundred people working the games. You all are rock stars!

I don't think many truly know our story and we try to tell it as best as we can with the goal to inspire others in the community when they feel all hope is lost.

The idea of the Runners started 7 years ago out of the need to make New Mexico sports the best that it can be and we've worked incredibly hard to create something from nothing. Literally nothing. We purchased the league license for the market and we got to work with a partnership packet to offer businesses in the community. 

Businesses such as yourselves believed in what we were working to accomplish and from that foundation we were able to put a program together on the field. This included reaching out to the community to invest in our team through season ticket purchases. And mind you, we have amazing season ticket holders that have been with us since the beginning and we are so so so grateful that you've believed in what we wanted to bring to the table.

Going back to our first season, we really didn't know what to expect. We were officially New Mexico's first Major Arena Soccer League team in history and we knew that many people here didn't really know what the sport of arena soccer consisted of even though the sport had been in the United States since the 1970's. 

The field product came together by chance with coaches and players reaching out to us once the word was out that the New Mexico Runners will kick off the first season in December 2018. This was definitely a prayers answered moment because I didn't know what was going to happen to even make the first season happen. We were indeed able to settle in with a head coach and assistant coach that came in tandem. 

I'd like to give a shoutout to our head coach, Steve Famiglietta who since the beginning understood what the purpose of the Runners organization was all about. And not to mention, he himself played the arena soccer game at the highest level and would go on to be the oldest goal scorer in professional arena soccer history through our organization at the young age of 57 during our 2022-23 season. 

A major shout out of gratitude goes out to assistant coach Nick Famiglietta. Because of his soccer training as a youth (by none other than his father), his understanding of the technicalities of soccer was a perfect fit to give us a runway to pull a roster of players together. Even now, Nick has excelled at his coaching duties as well as being a production field player.

Both Steve and Nick have been crucial in maintaining the product on the field while our family works the organization outside of soccer including the game day experience. These partnerships are important and symbiotic to build a product for the community.

Throughout our history, we've weathered impossible struggles that included the "COVID era" from 2020-2021. Our organization was basically on hiatus for about 18 months and this was detrimental to our business as we were on the fence of folding up shop. We couldn't operate as a business at all during this shutdown we had in our state. When things were open again, it was like we started from scratch prior to the first season. This was very stressful and we were usure if we could pull it together to bring a 2021-2022 season to fruition. It was the hard work of our family, friends, businesses and fans like you that gave us the faith to make it happen and we did it! A season 3 happened and we are truly appreciative that folks came together to help make this work.

Another element of gratitude I have and am proud of is that we've built and made fantastic partnerships with our sports community over the seasons. One of my goals that I continue to work towards is to bring our local sports teams together as one #TeamNewMexico. This only happens when all organizations put their egos aside and become selfless with the reminder that we are all a part of this community and must do our part to lift it up. There is a lot of progress here and it's exciting!

Fast forward to today, we may have had a tough season that seemed as if it wasn't successful. But I see it from a different perspective. I see it as we have dialed it down on our game day experience where fans come to a Runners game to experience excitement and have fun with their family and friends. Our community outreach is superb with our eccentric mascot "Rio The Roadrunner"! So much so that our fans are making handmade Halloween costumes of him. It's things like this that gives me the drive to continue to do what I do to bring this amazing sports experience to our community. 

Now that we've accomplished the amazing experience of arena soccer, it's time for us to focus on the game and what happens on the field. In the off season we will be working to build a winning program for season 6 that breathes tradition. The community's help is needed for this to happen. Sports economics dictate that if fans are buying tickets, coming to games, and supporting the teams in every way possible, this gives our sports organizations a chance to invest in higher level talent. This is the plan and we need you to play a role in order for us to accomplish this.

With everything being said, I am officially challenging YOU to invest in our team by purchasing season tickets, buying merchandise, partnering your business with ours, sharing our content on social media, as well as spreading the word to your family and friends about what the New Mexico Runners are all about! I want to see more of you in the stands next season. I want to see more of you wearing Runners shirts and hats. I want to see more of you claiming that your favorite arena soccer team is THE New Mexico Runners!

Let's continue to give our community something to be proud of and embrace. Let's give our community a beacon of hope and positivity. That's why our catchphrase is "Run As One". 

My wife Kathryn, my boys Ezekiel and Lukas, and I myself thank each and every one of you. See you in season 6 and lets GO RUNNERS! 

Andres Trujillo
Team Owner
New Mexico Runners Arena Soccer


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