Exclusive to Wide World of Sports, THE NRL ECONOMIST reveals the new color scheme of the Redcliffe Dolphins and identifies the main offering for the 17th license of the NRL.
Andrew Abdo got off to a good start as full-time CEO of the NRL, but perhaps the defining moment in his leadership is just around the corner.
Expressions of interest for the 17th NRL franchise license will be requested in April, and this is where it gets tricky for the NRL: How will they determine the best deal?
All offer to play at Suncorp Stadium. All of them have a solid financial position.
For example, if redcliffe dolphins are granted entry, their annual earnings would surpass the Brisbane Broncos as the most profitable franchise. Their total assets (reported to be over $ 100 million) are worth more than the AFL’s Adelaide Crows, North Melbourne Kangaroos, Melbourne Demons and Gold Coast Suns combined. Yes, combined!
But according to Dr Hunter Fujak, senior lecturer in sports management at Deakin University, branding is just as crucial.
“When new teams are created, it is essential to plan for the creation of distinctive brand assets that will maximize consumer interest,” he told Wide World of Sports.
The three bidding teams have indeed positioned their teams with distinctive brands.
The Brisbane Jets will perform in military green colors to reflect the nearby Royal Australian Air Force airbase. Privately, talks are currently underway with the Newtown Jets, with a view to merging Newtown’s royal blue into the game strip. However, their militaristic bomber theme could be seen as hostile and could struggle to pass for a family.
The Brisbane Firehawks have chosen to use what is perhaps the most unique mascot in global sport: a winged arsonist. The problem for the Firehawks will be accusations of insensitivity to the inevitable outbreaks of flames in one of the most fire-prone nations on the planet.
The final auction is the dolphins. A brand so powerful that brand injunctions and battles have erupted because of its use. The Gold Coast Titans first attempted to adopt the name before the Redcliffe Dolphins filed an injunction.
NFL Properties also challenged Sydney Rugby League club the Coogee Dolphins. Following a variation of Coogee’s logo design and a stipulation to never play grill in Australia, the Miami Dolphins agreed.
Even the Super League attempted to score the ‘Cronulla Dolphins’ on January 17, 1996.
Why all the fuss? The dolphins resonate strongly with the children, attracted by the endearing smile of the aquatic mascot. Interestingly, this smile is an illusion, with their jaw structure meaning their smile is permanent regardless of the mood. In other words, a fake smile!
Unlike the Jets’ color scheme, Wide World of Sports may reveal that the dolphins will opt for gold to complement their traditional red.
Parramatta eels also claim their golden color, but Canterbury Bulldogs fans debate this, preferring to call it lemon. Likewise, the Wests Tigers believe their program contains gold, but Manly fans identify their jersey as carrot.
Even the gold of the Brisbane Broncos has gradually turned since 1988 into a weird shade of pumpkin.
The Dolphins, however, chose a 24-karat version, with a metallic sheen unique to Australian sport. In fact, the only comparable color scheme would be that of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
Getting the right colors and branding is crucial. According to the author of Code Wars – The battle for fans, dollars and survival, the Jets and Firehawks could be risky choices. Fujak explains: “The jets are arguably less suitable for children and mascots and could face future cultural embarrassment around the war, similar to what the Canterbury Crusaders (the New Zealand rugby franchise) have faced. . The Firehawk as an animal suffers from lower mass consciousness than a dolphin. , which would mean that it would take longer for consumer recall to develop towards the brand. “
Dr Fujak also explained why the Dolphins brand is the best choice for NRL.
“Of the three Queensland offerings, the strongest brand proposition is the Dolphins, as it is child-friendly, non-sexist, and distinct from the local area while being unique. The Dolphin brand as a brand is also quite enough. flexible in terms of clothing opportunities, which a club like South Sydney has taken advantage of. “
If the NRL is truly about growing the game, there is no more suitable demographic to target than young people. The children’s film industry does it so well by choosing an adorable animal as the main character. This allows children to connect emotionally with the film, thereby promoting the monetization of the industry.
Even Facebook has internally announced its intention to create a version of its Instagram app specifically designed for children under 13, recognizing their significant value. It is a concept that McDonald’s implemented in 1979 with their “Happy Meal”.
Likewise, Andrew Abdo must select a brand that targets young people. The affection of children for a team is what motivates both the presence in rainy weather and the sale of merchandise at exorbitant prices. Figures obtained from a bidding team show that 20,000 people represent the break-even point for home games. Pester power is the key to ensuring that this projection is exceeded. Any parent would attest to the power of the “nag factor”.
Part of the reason the hastily-designed South Queensland Crushers (active 1995-1997) failed is that their brand didn’t stir up any emotion. Their soulless nickname referred to the crushing of Queensland’s main produce; sugar cane. The problem? Young people get excited by eating sugar, not refining it.
Traditionally, expansion teams have always been evaluated based on their geography, income and assets. But rather than follow convention, Abdo has the opportunity to develop the code with a flagship team explicitly targeting children.
Just ask a five-year-old which mascot they prefer: a flying fire bug, a militant jet, or a smiling dolphin?
Over to you Andrew.
Exclusive tomorrow for Wide World of Sports: The NRL Economist reveals the clever plan to extort money from the franchising Brisbane bidders.
Follow The NRL Economist on Twitter: @ramy_haidar
Warning: The NRL Economist, Ramy Haidar, is employed by the NRL club, the Manly Sea Eagles.
For a daily dose of the best of the latest news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter in Click here!