What do the clubs say they stand for?
Gold Coast Suns
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Port Adelaide Power
St Kilda Saints
West Coast Eagles
Official AFL maketing slogans for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Never discount the slogan. It helps give the club its identity so that our football watching becomes an expression of values, rather than just taking perverse delight from a spectacle that somewhat resembles a bunch of disorganised men chasing a chicken.
It is the belief in such values that can be the tipping point that persuades us to get off the couch where we watch football like a stoned jellyfish to spending hundreds of dollars on merchandise so we can scream abuse and yell all decked out in club colours.
Because slogans are part of a club’s traditions and aspirations, a great deal can be learnt from the slogans each club comes up with from year to year. The feral club that we sometimes refer to as Collingwood likes ‘side by side we stick together.’ This is obviously a reference to the supporters’ poor dental hygiene that has resulted in their teeth sticking together with plaque. The implication being that supporters need to proud of their inferiority. Signing up for a Collingwood membership is an extension of that.
Port Adelaide is another club that tends to lack imagination when it comes to slogans. It sticks to, ‘We are Port Adelaide.’ This is helpful for the Power supporters who might have otherwise thought the club was Port Augusta or Warrnambool.
When we hear the slogan for the first time, we have to be mindful that they tend to be more reflective of a club’s aspirations rather than its traditions. For example, when GWS tells us to expect “big things”, we need to expect something small – especially when it comes to crowd size. Likewise, when Fremantle refers to the future, we know it is because it has nothing in its history to be proud of.
We also need to be mindful that clubs don’t just create their slogans with potential members in mind; they also create them in order to make the club appeal to sponsors. For example, the Adelaide Crows have always tried to appeal to major sponsor Toyota so that in return for cash, it can release press releases stating,
The club could have added that potential Adelaide recruits want to go anywhere but Adelaide, as do most Toyota drivers.
In the interest of helping supporters decide whether a club is really an expression of values that can elicit more than a stoned jelly fish response, this site has evaluated five years of AFL slogans for their truthfullness and suitability for corporate partnership.
Quick cultural guide: The Adelaide Crows are the cult of the AFL. They are into weird things like fire walking, energy pills, and getting naked on camp. Naturally, there slogan has been the cultish “we fly as one”. Normal players that have been disturbed by weirdness have wanted to leave and found themselves threatened when they have done so.
2013 slogan - You're a required player
Although the Crows tells players they are required, players have a history of telling the Crows it is not a required club.
Flying as one was consistent with its collective one mind dream but sadly many individuals just didn't buy into the one-mind thinking.
Don't go home...please
Quick cultural guide: The Frankenstein Monster of the AFL; part bear and part lion with premierships fuelled by blood doping. It’s a club looking for love wherever it can find it. Maybe that is Melbourne, maybe its Brisbane but in rugby league mad Brisbane, it always just feels alone.
2013 slogan - Because pride is within.
Intellectual slogans will always look phoney on a club that once based itself on the Gold Coast despite having Brisbane in its name. For three years, the club pressed ahead with believe belong, probably because one-year was too short for a new slogan the marketing department to think of a new one. After three years of failure, it was pretty obvious most potential members neither believed not belonged. Still short of ideas, it found inspiration with the three musketeers and changed to 'all for one' but so as not to place unrealistic pressure on players thinking of going home, it dropped the 'one for all.'
Don't go home...please.
Quick cultural guide: The Carlton Blues are the white collar criminal club of the AFL. So much so, the club’s best & fairest is named after an embezzler who did three months in Pentridge Prison. Likewise, when players were invited by then prime minister Malcolm Fraser to the lodge to celebrate their 1982 premiership, they stole the silverware and ignored legal threats demanding its return. Given the way its celebrates criminality, it is not a surprise that the club was punished for salary cap cheating and even did the equivalent of pushing in line at the soup kitchen by tanking for draft picks. Prior to 2000, it was the league's most successful club with a record of 16 premierships. Post-2000, it has taken St Kilda's place as it has collected 6 wooden spoons. Yes, that's right, SIX spoons!
2013 slogan - I am Carlton
There is no I in team unless that team is Carlton. Carlton has always been a club of mercenaries. In decades past, the club's success was largely based on its cheque book. When a salary cap reduced this power, the club responded by using brown paper bags under the table, but that ended poorly. More recently, it hired coach Mick Malthouse whose demeanour painted a picture of someone with a personal grudge to settle with Collingwood for showing him the door. The egocentrism of Carlton was reflected in the use of 'I' in its 2013 slogan. In 2014, it took the dishonest brown paper bag route by changing I to We, which is simply not what Carlton is about.
In 2019, it honoured the past and owned the future by promoting its wooden spoon selection.
Spoon to spoon
Quick cultural guide: The Collingwood Magpies are always a club in scandal; illicit drug use, performance enhancing drug use, racism, theft, gambling drink driving, assault. Fortunately for the club, scandals have kept them in the news and made it popular.
2015 slogan - Side by side we stick together.
Collingwood doesn't like to change its slogan from year to year, probably because most of the Collingwood fans are still learning how to read it and it would be foolish to confuse them with a new slogan so soon.
‘Side by side we stick together' has often been interpreted as a reference to the supporters’ poor dental hygiene that has resulted in their teeth sticking together with plaque. Others have said it is a nod to a police line up where Collingwood fans have had to stand side by side as the witnesses identify the assailant.
In 2018, there was some change with "Unleash the passion". As far as Collingwood goes, this was very creative. Maybe it might next put a splash of grey on its black and white jumper.
In 2020 there was a change to Made by Many, perhaps to disguise criticisms that the club was solely made by Buckely and Eddie.
Quick cultural guide: The self righteous always get their comeuppance , whether its deserved or not. The Bombers have taken principled stands racism in AFL, blood doping and football violence while celebrating their more conservative family like culture. The principles have made the club hated, which has in turn allowed the club to initiate and promote the most marquee games of any in the competition.
2013 - Whatever it takes
All of Essendon's slogans need to be considered in the context of performance enhancing drugs. 'Whatever it takes' was read as 'what did we take?' 'Don the sash' over your needle prick. 'Are you back for 2015?' because star players wont be here for 2016.
Quick cultural guide: Clown school
2013 slogan - Let's go Freo
Looking at the slogans, one get a sense that Fremantle's marketing department likes love stories, and probably has an extensive collection of Mills & Boons novels with Fabio gracing the cover. If not seen through a romantic prism, forever freo is depressing.
Send in the clowns
Quick cultural guide: Multinational accounting corporations often use acronyms for their names. The Giants decision to likewise use the acronym GWS naturally gives it more of a commercial feel than that of a true football club, as does the lack of passion from fans.
2013 slogan - stand tall
Quick cultural guide: For three seasons, GWS's slogan had been stand tall, which was perhaps reflected the club's hope that fans would stand up to cover the camera shots of all the empty seats. (It certainly couldn't be said that the home grounds were standing room only.)
Expect big things sounded a bit like over compensation. When men say big things are expected, usually something small is discovered. There is a giant in all of us could be a good lead in line to selling some magic beans.
The 2019 slogan of Everything is Bigger up close seems to be a continuation of phallic marketing that the club has a bit of an obsession with. Specifically, it's first logo had to be changed due to a phallic bum while its "GMan" mascot was drawn from an on-the-knees perspective with a penis so large that it cast a shadow down the thighs. For the fans who don't live up to Gman's example, they need to compensate by telling their partner to get close.
Ideal sponsors - With multiple home grounds, perhaps a transport company would work well. Greyhound buses, City Rail
Quick cultural guide: When they are on, the Cats are breathtaking to behold. For some reason, they never really turn off. While they may choke in September, they consistently make it.
2013 slogan - Footy full on
Through all its misfortunes, Geelong has remained a cheerful club, and a club not hated by other fans. Perhaps this can be attributed to the positive nature of its fans.
Quick cultural guide: Amateur hour
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 with in partnership 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.
Quick cultural guide: Dress your kids in brown and gold colours and you can be pretty sure they are not going to be the coolest kids in the class. In fact, they may get teased and respond with anger! That pretty much sums up Hawthorn. An angry angry club with anger stemming from a deep understanding that they are not cool and with those colours, never will be.
2013 slogan - Always Hawthorn
It can't be said that Hawthorn comes across as cool. The colours are not really combinations to be found on the cat walk and the lack of imagination in coming up with slogans is nothing really cat walk territory either.
50,000 pets can’t be wrong
Quick cultural guide: It is hard to feel that we are not just talking about the bones of a club here and there is something missing where the meat should have been. This emaciated skeleton has gone by many different names over the years as it has desperately tried to get some support. There was the butcher-friendly “shinboners” that gave way to the “Kangaroos ” for more widespread resonance. Then it reverted to shinboners when talking about the spirit of the club. In regards to locality, there was “North” replacing “North Melbourne” when the club tried to represent Melbourne and Sydney at the same time. That didn't work so it dropped North as it tried to add Canberra, Gold Coast and Tasmania to other areas it was representing.
2013 slogan - Spirit: then, now & forever
The Kangaroos have been an endangered species for a few years now, which perhaps explains why they keep creating religious-like slogans. It is also a club that is prone to go walkabout but never be happy where it is. It has kangaroos as its moniker yet keeps harping back to shinboners in reverence to butchers of the past. It's almost as if those who run the club are desperate for some butchering of a roo.
Ideal sponsors; a funeral parlour, Catholic education or Salvation Army
We're there for you...we hope.
Quick cultural guide: It is amazing to think that the Melbourne Demons were once one of the most financially powerful clubs in the AFL with arguably the largest supporter base. A real fallen power with little hope for recovery.
2013 slogan - First & forever
My heart beats true could have been a reference to the life support the club was on.
Ideal sponsors - After they tanked to get draft picks, the question to ask of sponsors was whether they really wanted to be associated with a club that did the equivalent of stealing from the church collection plate?
That's not a tank, this is a tank
Quick cultural guide: Some clubs are constantly comparing themselves to other clubs and deep down feel a sense of inferiority in that comparison. Ironically, for Port Adelaide Power, the comparison is with the Port Adelaide Magpies. Although the Power are in the big league, it is the Magpies that have the better jumper, the tradition, the record of premiership success and the culture it wants.
2013 slogan - Show your true passion
Port seems to be having some trouble deciding if the Port Adelaide Magpies and the Port Adelaide Power are one and the same. For intellectual challenged fans struggling to decide which one, the club’s 2014, 16 and 17 slogan of ‘we are Port Adelaide’ was basically a case of patting the fans on the head and telling them not to worry themselves which such difficult concepts. The continuation of the slogan either reflected the club's lack of imagination or fear that it had to remind the supporters which club to join in case they were siging up for Port Augusta.
Ideal sponsors - Great Southern Energy.
Time for another South Australian Black Out
Quick cultural guide: No team gives its supporters more of an emotional workout than the Tigers. There are the decades of hopelessness punctuated by premierships. There is are the savage fans that tear their players apart when things are going badly only to revere them as gods when the ball bounces their way.
2013 slogan - The roar is back
Richmond's passion is a double edge sword that the club needs to manage. Sometimes the club has tried to curtail that passion, which would be appealing to manufacturers of straight jackets. Sometimes the club has just decided to let it out and buckle up for the ride. It is a dangerous ploy that may necessitate a holiday at seasons end to relieve the stress.
Ideal sponsors - Vic Road Safety, Qantas Holidays
No one is laughing now!
Quick cultural guide: You can’t accuse Saint Kilda supporters of being band wagoners nor can you accuse those running the club as setting an example of how a model professional club should be run. On the positive side, you always get a smile on your face when you hear about the latest going ons at the Saints - if only to mock the irony of the club calling itself Saints.
2013 - Loyalty unites us
You have to feel sorry for the marketers at St Kilda. How do you come up with a slogan for a club that has always been a basket case on and off the field. In 2013, the marketers decided to go with 'loyalty unites us' as a kind of facade. The year culminated with the club sacking its coach, its coach accusing the club of disloyalty and the football club trading out its loyal servants for draft picks.
Ideal sponsors -Crown Casino
You can't accuse us of being band wagoners.
Quick cultural guide: Trust in your fans…nothing could be more highly prized for a sporting club’s board. Trust that fans will be there in the dark times as well as the good. But that is not the Swans. In Melbourne, the fans left and the Swans were forced to relocate to Sydney where they came some days but were gone the next.
2013 slogan - Proudly Sydney
Quick cultural guide:The emphasis on the word “proud” seems like a bit of a Freudian over compensation in that Sydney fans have generally been seen as an embarrassment as they are about as reliable as a cheesecloth condom. The only way they can be enticed to games is to give them a glamour full forward to cheer on.
Just as there is some Freudian over compensation in emphasising the word proud, there is also some in the emphasis on Sydney. Maybe this stems from insecurity that comes from the fact that it used to be South Melbourne and doesn't want supporters to think it was proud of that Melbourne heritage.
The 2016 slogan was very camp and perhaps an attempt to ride off Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras image. Perhaps this was an attempt to counter GWS's phallic marketing of the time.
Ideal sponsors - Durex condoms, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
Don't risk it, cover your Buddy
Quick cultural guide: It’s a club that was established with the sole purpose of making money and a lot of money has it made.
2013 slogan - Inspired
The slogans sound a bit like drug gangs trying to stake out territory in a drug war. It would be nice to think that West Coast have settled all their scores and now only use legal drugs. Perhaps Roche would be a partner otherwise a law firm in case of any relapses
Ideal sponsors – Roche, Slater & Gordon
We are legal eagles now
Quick cultural guide: It markets itself as the underdog team, but this is a club that has always had friends in high places and friends that have been prepared to bend some rules to give it a leg up.
2013 slogan -(Our club, Our west,) Our heartland
Blow that whistle