Top club backtracks on supposed name change

Yesterday an NRL side were asking fans about a proposed name change that would see their home town dropped from the name.

St George Illawarra Dragons are a historic side dating back to their foundation in 1920 however they transitioned from St George Dragons to St George Illawarra Dragons in 1998 after a joint venture with Illawarra Steelers.

Such was the creation of St George Illawarra Dragons, who then competed in their first NRL season under that name in 1999 where they have competed ever since.

Now the club are asking fans if they should drop the Illawarra element of their name and have provided a range of suggestions it’s being reported by The Daily Telegraph in Australia.

Club members were asked a range of questions, the most notable being: “which naming convention should the St George Illawarra Dragons use as their formal identity?”

The options included; St George Dragons, Southern Dragons, Greater Sydney Dragons, The Dragons or St George Illawarra Dragons.

A return to simply St George Dragons is reportedly the most popular however the club have no intention of leaving the Illawarra region after having secured $50 million to create a centre of excellence at the University of Wollongong.

However, Dragons CEO Ryan Webb clarified the club had no internal push to drop Illawarra from the club’s name.

“As a club we often talk about the strength of our brand and the number of connections we have,” Webb told The Illawarra Mercury.

“But we never have anything tangible to show that and work with. So we then commissioned an independent third party to go out and have a look at the club [and] look at how people perceive us as a club and our brand. That’s what we’ve done.”

Webb explained the survey was regulation practice for any business.

“It’s not something that is talked about [dropping the Illawarra name],” he said.

“It’s trying to get a snapshot of what people think we are and what we stand for now.

“We’ve been around for 23 years now and it’s still not clear right across our fan base. So we’re just looking to see what people think and getting their feedback.

“This is just a brand health check I guess that most businesses do and everyone’s focusing on one question which doesn’t work.”

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