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Gold Coast Suns

The Gold Coast Suns

Maybe time for another approach

Sex sells and it sells even better when the customer has an excuse to justify to themselves that they aren't really hunting for sex. In the case of the Gold Coast, 70km of sand is much like the articles of a Playboy magazine in that both allow consumers to pursue their carnal desires all the while pretending that they are pure of mind like everyone else. In 2005, that allure of "sand" helped the Gold Coast to become Australia's fastest growing city, almost reaching a population of 500,000. In addition, around 850,000 international visitors and 3.5 million Australians were staying at least one night in a Gold Coast Hotel.

Perhaps the domestic tourists are looking for things that are not so commonly found on other Australian beaches. Specifically, lots of toned men running along as if they were auditioning for a part in Baywatch. Sometimes the men stop, stare longingly towards the ocean, and raise their chin as if in an aftershave commercial. Alternatively, maybe tourists are looking for those lovely Gold Coast ladies strolling along the beach in the morning sun, but who don’t seem to have any interest in beach life except for being seen on it. For whatever reason, these scenes seem to be more alluring that a deserted beach populated with the occasional wallaby or hermit crab.

In 2008, the AFL decided that it would give these residents and tourists a reason other than "sand" for going to the Gold Coast. Even though the AFL was trying to pull people away from the sand, it was still very beachy in its thinking. Firstly, they presented beachy nicknames, 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.

For one reason or another, the AFL wasn't too pleased with the community approval given to Marlins and 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,

"We had overwhelming support, around 95 per cent, from the public for the name Gold Coast -- it was always the 'Gold Coast somethings".

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 say.

To Gold Coast residents; however, it was understandable that a different city had been considered for the name because the same thing happened previously. In 1987, the Brisbane Bears were established on the Gold Coast. Why marketing boffins choose to base the team on the Gold Coast but have Brisbane in its name can only be attributed to another case of Queensland intellect at its finest. 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,

"This is a new club -- and like the Coast we are a little bit cheeky, brash, we are not traditionalists and we don't do things just because other places do it that way.

"So we thought why don't we just do something that is different, unique and very Gold Coast?"

Unfortunately, being unique and different ultimately led to the copying the Phoenix Suns to create the football equivalent of Coles homebrand. For colours, they AFL chose the colours of life guards of red and yellow. Although this indeed re-inforce coastal associations, it has to be said the colour combinations 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.

 

Even though it choose 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!

Many of the young 18-year-olds did what most 18-year-old schoolies do when they head to the Gold Coast each year. Specifically, after spending most of their teenage years training hard, they wanted to use the condoms that they learnt about in their sex education classes. Fortunately or unfortunately, being an AFL star player didn't have the pulling power they hoped on the Gold Coast. To solve the problem, they built up their courage with booze, which at times meant that keeping the carrots down was more of a challenge than finding a partner for an intimate encounter. Some Gold Coast players even graduated onto cocaine, which they hoped would get around the Suns’ policies of alcohol prohibition and also solve the problem of carrots rising.

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.

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.

Membership slogans

2013 slogan - Take your seat
2014 slogan - Fire up
2015 slogan - Fire up for 2015
2016 slogan - We are Gold Coast. We are your Suns
2017 slogan - We are Gold Coast.

Review

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.)

Suggested slogans

Would like it to rise but its drooping.
Work damn you
Got any viagra

Gold Coast Theme Song

We are the suns of the Gold Coast sky
We are the one in the red, gold and blue
We are the mighty Gold Coast Suns
We play to win the flag for you

Fight! Fight! Fight! Till we hold up the cup
Run, run, run all the way
We are the suns of the Gold Coast sky
We’re the team who never say die!

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.

Jokes

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?

Rivalries

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.

 

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  Offended by the description of your footy club? Maybe you would be better off watching a TV news report of your team's players in a recovery session standing around in the ocean looking cold. Alternatively, you could listen to news on the radio of your team 'training without incident'. If you are still concerned, then maybe have a read of stereotype formation and suggest a reason for a different steretype.