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Anthony Costa is a writer, designer and illustrator living in Melbourne, Australia. These alternate AFL and NRL football graphics are inspired by his love of heritage sports logos and uniforms. Got a comment or design project? Email Anthony at info@costasportslogos.com.

The Brisbane Bombers: What's in a (brand)name?

July 14, 2011

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brisbane bombers

So it's official. The Brisbane 2 NRL bid consortium for the new NRL license that might/might not be available by 2014 (assuming we have that shiny new NRL independent commission in place by then) will be known as the Brisbane Bombers.

Predictably the announcement has descended into yet another tedious pissing contest between NRL and AFL sectarian loyalists over the rights to use the Bombers moniker, which has been synonymous with the Essendon Football Club since adopting it during the War years (Essendon was home to a military airfield during this period).

As usual, all of this tribal drum beating misses the point.

The Brisbane Bombers won't be directly competing with the Essendon Bombers for patronage, sponsors and premiership points. They'll be up against a far more daunting foe.

The Broncos.

Brisbane is a one-team town. There's the Broncos, then there's daylight.

And they're winners.

So where will the Brisbane Bombers find their supporter base? Who is going to jump ship to back the new team? (It's a problem I wrote about a few years back after the birth of the Melbourne Heart).

Is there anything about the Brisbane Bombers brand that would make Brisbane League fans jump ship to the new side?

A new Brisbane side in the NRL is going to need a damn good sell, backed by a compelling story.

It's hard to see a big-picture story in the Brisbane Bombers brand.

When I hear 'Bombers' I instantly think 'Essendon'. I don't think Brisbane. 

I can't find a local story.

Is this a contrived catch-all team, or is it positioned to become a legitimate challenger to the Broncos ownership of Brisbane?

Everyone seems to agree that demand for League in Queensland demands a second Brisbane side.

Will Broncos fans be willing to double dip and attend Bombers games in addition to Broncos fixtures? Some might. I doubt enough will.

Will enough Broncos fans switch sides to back the new franchise? Maybe they will. But what does the NRL gain from this dilution of support?

Will the new team attract new fans to the NRL? Perhaps.

But show me the Brisbanite who doesn't say they don't follow the Broncos at some level.

Brisbane 2 needs to be built on existing loyalties and roots, similar to the AFL's Fremantle and Port Adelaide expansion sides (but even these teams have struggled being number 2 in a 1 team town).

In such a fiercely parochial market they need a brand that screams 'Brisbane'. Bombers ain't it.

(As for the Biggles logo itself, it seems really over worked to me... Very 90s in fact. And the colours just look muddy together).

So what do you think? Does the Brisbane Bombers brand lay foundations for a strong new NRL side?

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