As a Gold Coast resident, I am excited at the prospect of having an Aussie Rules football club. But I'm finding it difficult to rave about my new team.
You see, they haven't yet decided on a personality for themselves. So now they are using GCFC. Here's the website: http://goldcoastfc.com.au/. So we'll have GCFC v Lions, GCFC v Crows, GCFC v Saints, GCFC v Cats etc. Whether or not you like lions, crows, cats or saints, it's not difficult to see how fans (and particularly undecided youngsters) can identify with those clubs. Then there's the merchandise. I can envisage inflatable lions and fluffy crows and cats. But what will happen with GCFC? Inflatable letters?
Consider their competition here on the coast. It's the other code, rugby league - http://www.nrl.com.au. Our club here is the Titans - http://www.titans.com.au/. It's like chalk and cheese as far as branding is concerned. This was demonstrated by my 6 year old son who arrived home one day after school and quizzed me with: "Dad, do you know who came to see us at school today?" After displaying my ignorance, my son answered: "The Titans!". Then I was someone indifferent to rugby league. Now I'm a keen follower and supporter of the Titans. It wasn't that he knew what "Titans" meant. It was just easy to remember and to repeat. Once I told him what it meant he was well and truly hooked.
Apparently GCFC are looking for a new name. That's good news, but imagine the cost of building up the GCFC brand, only to discard it for another name. According to their website, they've been five years in the making. If they had chosen a brand name back then, it would have been household, helping to snare a large following of young impressionable children and their doting parents. With their season starting in 2011, I fear the horse has bolted.