Choosing names for the NBL’s newest franchises
It was announced this week that the NBL commission are in the final stages of approving two new teams for the league’s 2012-13 season. It’s hoped that by the end of January a new team from Melbourne and a team returning to the Brisbane market will be approved.
Despite in-depth financial and marketing planning already being done, it’s known that the Melbourne team is yet to choose a name. S
o lets get to the all important naming process, and while we’re at it let’s consider the Brisbane team as well.
Considering the rich history associated with the Brisbane Bullets, it’s a sure thing that the returning team will take up the old name. As much fun as it would be to think of some new creative idea, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Though I could see the Brisbane Blackhawks, Barons, Bats or Bluebottles.
Verdict: Brisbane Bullets
Unlike the Bullets, the new Melbourne team has no history to speak of, save for its many failed predecessors (not associated with the new bid).
For the first time, the secondary Melbourne team will play out of an arena other than Hisense Arena, instead at the new State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South (South Eastern Suburb, 25kms from CBD).
Set in what is undeniably Australia’s basketball homeland, the team is not likely to be short of supporters, even if the arena can’t fit more than 3,200 spectators (a good 2,000 less than should be the minimum.
In the past, Melbourne teams have sported ‘South Melbourne’ (Dragons), ‘North Melbourne’ (Giants), ‘South East Melbourne’ (Magic) and ‘Victoria’ (Titans/Giants) as their titles.
Considering the new backers, I think it unlikely that they’ll take an old name, making a straight up ‘Melbourne’ team my preferred choice for naming. Other options could include ‘Wantirna South’ and ‘Knox’ (Suburb names) or possibly a return to ‘South East Melbourne’ or just ‘East Melbourne’.
Despite all the other choices available, a simple Melbourne title does two things.
• Opens the entire Melbourne area for a fan base, even allowing them to stake claim to the occasional marquee game played at Hisense Arena.
• It asserts their equality with the Melbourne Tigers. Anything other than a ‘Melbourne’ title would show that they are fearful of the Tigers’ brand.
With the nickname in mind, there’s no doubt that a new name is 100% necessary, to move away from the failed past’s of former franchises.
If the team adopts the ‘Melbourne’ title, options could include the Melbourne Marlins or, riding off the success of the Dallas NBA team, there would always be a market for the Melbourne Mavericks. No matter how many times I look at alternate names, I’m certain that, should the team be a ‘Melbourne’, ‘East Melbourne’ or ‘South East Melbourne’ team, then the nicknames must be ‘Mavericks’.
If however, the team opts for a suburban title (Wantirna or Knox), then the most obvious choices are the Wasps and the Knights respectively.
Verdict: Melbourne Mavericks
No matter where they’re based out of, or who’s playing for them, the return of a Brisbane franchise and a cross town competitor in Melbourne can only be good news for fans in two of Australia most basketball crazy areas.
Let’s hope that the league approves the bids and we can all look forward to the Melbourne Mavericks facing off against the Brisbane Bullets in season 2012-13.