What do the clubs say they stand for?
Gold Coast Suns
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Port Adelaide Power
St Kilda Saints
West Coast Eagles
The Gold Coast Suns
With a growing population of more than half a million people, the Gold Coast seems to have a good sized market to support professional sporting team. Unfortunately, teams established on the Gold Coast have usually died. Professional commentators usually say the problem is 90 km of beaches is just too much of a distraction for fans and players alike. In the words of sports management academic Dr Jason Doyle,
By Doyle’s logic, professional sporting teams should only be established in shitholes if they want to be successful. Although this logic easily explains why two Adelaide teams are thriving, it doesn’t so easily explain the popularity of two teams in Perth, or even nine teams in Melbourne. Furthermore, it basically says that people who follow sport only do so because they have nothing else going on their lives. In other words, jocks are really socially awkard nerds.
Perhaps an alternative explanation for the Gold Coast’s struggles with professional teams is that sporting organizations have been extremely amateur in the way they have gone about running their clubs. Firstly, professional Rugby League arrived on the Gold Coast in 1988 in the form of the Gold Coast Giants. A slight inconvenience for the cub was that rivals Brisbane Broncos had a contract stipulating that they could be the only club in South East Queensland. As a result, Gold Coast played in Tweed Heads in NSW, which caused a bit of an identity struggle come the annual State of Origin series. Struggling for fans, the club changed its name to the Seagulls in tribute to the Seagulls licensed club which was their primary source of revenue, but when the club withdrew its support, it changed its name to Gladiators.
With the Broncos defecting to Super league, Gold Coast was actually allowed to play on the Gold Coast, which it briefly did under the name of Chargers. With the end of the Superleague war, however, the Chargers were cut as part of the peace deal. In short, Gold Coast league fans had their club playing in NSW, changing their name for money, changing the name again when the money ran out, changing again but never playing under that name, moving to the Gold Coast and then being cut as part of a peace deal just when it was looking successful. Its demise is hardly something that be blamed on a community lacking passion for a club that stands for something.
Professional rugby league returned 2007 in the form of the Gold Coast Titans. The privately owned club did a lot of things right but lost a lot of money on property deals and using its myriad of companies to push money around in ways that looked very dodgy. This mistake was compounded by the club cheating tradesman out of $1.6 million while building its “Centre of Excellence.” Getting the tradies offside was a massive problem for the club. In regards to leading the promotion of sport, the tradies are the influencers. They have the cultural capital in the market that attends games. They are also very social, as they get about on job sites and communicate how people should think on certain issues. Pissing off the tradies was an early blow the Titans just never recovered from.
While rugby league has been amateur in the way it ran its clubs, so has AFL. In 1987, the then VFL(now AFL) established the Brisbane Bears and based it on the Gold Coast. Why it choose to base itself on the Gold Coast despite being called Brisbane was as stupid as rugby league calling itself Gold Coast but then playing in NSW. To compound matters, the AFL club’s moniker was Bears with an image of a Koala. As cute as koalas are, it was the worst name for an AFL club since Hawthorn went by the names of mustard pots and mayblooms. After losing $27 million dollars, the Brisbane club actually moved to Brisbane. In short, Gold Coast had a Brisbane club with a terrible name and terrible colours representing it before it relocating to the city it said it was actually representing. Again, its lack of support is hardly something that be blamed on a community lacking passion for a club that stands for something.
The AFL’s next attempt to give the Gold Coast a professional club came in 2008. Although not as bad as the Bears, it was still amateur in the way it went about. Firstly, it pretended that it wanted community input over the name to evoke a feeling of local ownership. It did this by presenting names such as Stingrays, Marlins, Ironmen, the Rays and the Guards for community feedback. An interactive online poll on the club's website found that 55% supported Marlins, 35% supported Stingrays and almost no one supported the others. A poll by the Gold Coast Bulletin found that 95% were in favour of Marlins. After getting strong support for Marlins, the club declared that since no clear favourite had been picked, the club would not have a moniker at all. Instead, the club would just be called the Gold Coast. According to GC17 bid team leader John Witheriff,
It later decided on Gold Coast Suns, a moniker that had never been put for community feedback.
Aside from finding it odd that the club disregarded market research on the moniker which clearly favoured Marlins, outsiders also found it odd to say that any name other than Gold Coast would be under consideration. After all, to place a team on the Gold Coast and give it the name of a different city would be as stupid as asking the community to give feedback for a moniker, getting a strong statement of approval for one moniker, and then ignoring what they said. Needless to say, when Gold Coast residents found out that another AFL team would be given to them, they feared history could repeat and the new team might be called Cairns, Darwin or even Alice Springs.
Naturally, the club's decision to disregard community feedback led to it being the subject of criticism. In defence of their innovative ways, Witheriff said,
For colours, the AFL chose red and yellow, which are typically associated with fast food restaurants. Psychologically, they evoke some excitement but are also quite comical. This is one of the reasons why they are not great in the fashion sense. (China has long known this and inevitably finds itself feeling like its tomato and egg dish each time its Olympians are unveiled to the world.) Although there are times to break the rules and be different, some conventions exist for a reason. For the Gold Coast, the easiest way to resemble a clown was to dress themselves up as clowns, which is exactly what they did.
Even though it chose poor colour combinations and a moniker that had little community approval, the AFL probably thought brand image would all be irrelevant if the club was winning on the field. Consequently, they gave the club an unprecedented number of high draft selections that many commentators felt would guarantee it a premiership within 5 years. They were wrong!
Booze, cocaine and the pursuit of “sand” contributed to the career path of countless high draft selections being re-redirected to asking customers if they wanted fries with their McHappy meal. Other high draft selections suffered injuries which hindered them ever realising their potential.
A select few others became good players only to abandon the club. After becoming Gold Coast senior citizens at the ripe old age of 21, they started to be seen as “toolies”, a term that refers to either wowsers trying to spoil a good time, or perverts out for a good time. In both cases, they were mostly seen as unwelcome and they moved on accordingly. The end result was that 10 years of high draft selections produced a club that was St Kilda like in its performance.
In what appeared to be rats leaving a sinking ship, administrators also started looking out for their own self-interest. In 2017, the Suns informed list manager Scott Clayton that his contract would not be renewed after the upcoming trade period. Clayton subsequently traded pick 2 for journeyman Lachie Weller in what was universally seen as paying well overs. He also traded Gold Coast draft picks 21, 26, 37 and 21 to West Coast for its picks 19 and 50 the following year. After trading the draft picks to West Coast, Clayton subsequently found himself with a new job at ….West Coast.
10 years after its conception, it had become obvious that the AFL had failed to distract Gold Coast residents from the sand; they just had no interest in footy. Worst still, players from the Suns didn’t have any interest in it either. While the administrators of the Suns would say to say their struggles are much more difficult because Gold Coast is not a shit hole like Adelaide, perhaps it would be more accurate to say the club is a shithole unlike those of Adelaide.
2013 slogan - Take your seat
When the Gold Coast chose suns as their moniker, they were probably desperate for the day they could use it in a pun like Suns rising, or on the rise. It would be a slogan that would work well Gold Coast property developers if they hadn't gone all bankrupt.
The debauchery of schoolies and Gold Coast nightlife provided an idea for the 2016 slogan. For all those illegitimate kids out there who didn’t know who their fathers were, and fathers who remember an intimate congress with a lady but not much else, “we are your suns” definitely resonated when spoken.
For 2017, 'We are Gold Coast' was needed in case potential fans thought it was the team really represented Alice Springs, Cairns or Wagga Wagga or Brisbane (as it did in the old days.)
Would like it to rise but its drooping.
Gold Coast Theme Song
We are the suns of the Gold Coast sky
Fight! Fight! Fight! Till we hold up the cup
Verdict: The Tigers can relax in the knowledge that they still have the best song. West Coast can also relax in the knowledge that they no longer have the worst.
1) There is a Gold Coast psychiatrist that has a thriving practice, particularly during the football season. He tried an idea-association test on a patient and asked her what came to mind when she thought of something brown, firm and had smooth curves. " A football" said the patient immediately. "Good. And what comes to mind when two arms slide around your waste?" "An illegal tackle" was the instant reply. "Now picture a firm set of thighs" "a full back!" "Top marks" said the psychiatrist. "Your answers are perfectly normal. You would be surprised by some of the silly answers I get."
2)If it takes an IQ of 60 to tie shoelaces, why do so many Suns fans wear thongs?
The presumption is that they will have a rivalry with the Brisbane Lions once they get better. Perhaps the Lions, with their Fitzroy heritage, may be portrayed as the Melbourne import. The meeting between the teams has been marketed as the "Qclash" for those who have trouble with spelling, or the "Queensland Clash" for those who paid attention in school.