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What should Tasmania call its A-League club?

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Roar Guru
23rd December, 2018
45

The unsuccessful FC Tasmania bid group failed to even come up with a name for its proposed A-League team during its campaign expansion, making it had to attract or engage with fans who might have wanted to sign up as members.

It also made it very difficult to establish the club’s brand and identity. So what might be an appropriate name for a Tasmanian A-League club?

Here’s a shortlist of possible names along with brief descriptions about why each would be suitable.

FC Tasmania
The working title of the current bid. Formal but dull.

Tasmania United
The name of the previous bid, which attempted to join the 2011–12 A-League season. It’s an appropriate name for a club which seeks to represent a whole state.

Bohemians Tasmania
According to a recent Australia Council report, there are more artists and people involved in the creative industries per capita in Hobart than anywhere else in Australia. Tasmania is full of creative types and is also home to the famous MONA, FOMA and Dark MOFO. Tasmania is well known for its pristine wilderness and the quality of its food produce, but the arts sector is also becoming a very big part of Tasmania’s image and reputation.

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Tasmania Elemental
Perhaps the essence of Tasmania comes from the elements and forces of nature. Rugged coastlines are weathered by the power of the raging sea while wild rivers slowly meander through the landscape, changing its shape. The clean air from Antarctica is good to breathe but comes with a bite when it’s cold, so you might like to sit in front of a warm fire and watch the flames as they dance and flicker. Tasmania may be pristine and natural but it’s also powerful and wild.

Dynamo Tasmania
Tasmania is full of energy! The state-owned power generators are some of the largest employers and money-earners in the state, and there are plans to make Tasmania a ‘battery of the nation’.

Tasmania Brewers
This one should be obvious. The island’s brewing industry is famous for the quality of its beer and has put Tasmania on the map for drinkers from across Bass Strait and from lands even further afield. Tasmanian hops are used to flavour beers in almost every country in Europe.

Tasmania Maritimo or Tasmania Marinos
Tasmania has a rich maritime history going back to colonial days, when shipping was the only means of connection to the mainland and the other colonies. The state’s maritime heritage is celebrated every two years with the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, which brings together a fleet of over 500 vessels, making it the second-largest wooden boat festival in the world.

Tasmania Rangers
The name ‘Rangers’ is often associated with the club in Scotland, but Tasmania itself has a bit of a Scottish kind of vibe. The misty highlands, fly fishing in rivers, links-style golf courses and whiskey all contribute to this. When you also think that half the state is protected forest managed by rangers of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service the name Rangers seems quite apt.

Football generic

(Tony Feder/Getty Images)

What’s in a name?
When it was first announced that there would be a bid from Tasmania, I thought it could add something really interesting and new to the league if they got in. But while the bid team were active in the media, they never really knew how to sell the sizzle – there was no ‘shrimp on the barbie’ moment.

A key reason for this was that there wasn’t an official bid website for FC Tasmania like there was for almost all the other bids, preventing fans from participating in forming the club’s identity.

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Having a name is essential in being able to market your brand, and this is especially important in a small-business state like Tasmania, which is heavily reliant on niche marketing. In fact the naming of the state as Tasmania was itself a rebranding exercise to get away from the negative perceptions people had about Van Diemen’s Land and its reputation as a convict colony.

Simply put, it isn’t enough for FC Tasmania to target only Tasmanians. As what would be a niche club in a small market, it is paramount to be able to market the club not just to Tasmanians but also to those on the mainland as well those around the world. It needs to become a cult club with widespread appeal. But you need to have a name, colours and logo in order to do that.

When brand recognition is so critically important for Tasmania, the lack of a bid website was notable and may have been an important factor in the campaign’s failure when Tasmania will be relying on having a unique X factor to overcome its deficiencies in other metrics like population and TV viewership. Hopefully they will learn from this and be better prepared next time.

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Hobart only ranked 21 out of 22 geographic regions on an index produced by Deloitte. The only way Tasmania has any chance is to have some kind of X factor, and the bid team failed to clearly identify one.

Tasmania deserves to have a team on participation rates alone – the state has 15,000 registered players among a population of 500,000, which works out to three per cent of all people. That’s more than the Illawarra with 2.4 per cent, Brisbane with 1.3 per cent and Melbourne with 1.2 per cent. Throw in the fact that Tasmania’s economy is 50 per cent larger than the Illawarra and Tasmania becomes the second best ‘new’ location for an A-League team after Canberra.

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Unfortunately the FC Tasmania bid team still don’t have an official name for the team, so in the meantime I’ll open it up to you to say what you think a Tasmanian A-League side should be called and whether you think it could become a cult club. Leave your comments below.