'Lock it in': Dolphins' blunt response to one-name NRL drama

·3-min read
Seen here, Dolphins bosses Bob Jones (left), Terry Reader and Tony Murphy pose for photo at the new NRL club's unveiling.
Dolphins bosses insist they won't bow down to pressure around the NRL expansion team's name. Pic: AAP

It's been arguably the biggest headline around the NRL's newest team but the Dolphins have vowed not to give in to naming controversy that's overshadowed their launch.

Former Wallabies player and writer Peter FitzSimons took Dolphins CEO Terry Reader to task in a heated debate on Nine's Sports Sunday over the weekend, accusing the club of "disrespecting" the proud history of the Redcliffe Dolphins by dropping the geographical reference to their team name.

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Dolphins' bosses have insisted that the one-name decision was made in consultation with a wide range of Queensland footy fans and stakeholders in an attempt to appeal to a "broader" rugby league fanbase.

However, Moreton Bay Regional Council mayor Peter Flannery is the latest to slam the move, claiming his council was under the impression the NRL expansion side would be known as the Moreton Bay Dolphins.

Flannery has threatened to withdraw financial support if the name isn't changed, but Dolphins power-brokers are refusing to back down.

Dolphins Group chief executive Tony Murphy was unapologetic in his stance on Thursday after celebrating the announcement of Wayne Bennett as the team's inaugural coach.

Murphy said the club would do everything to support the Moreton Bay region but categorically ruled out any geographical association being attached to the team's name.

"We will push Moreton Bay every day of the week but we're a national brand now," Murphy said.

"The Redcliffe Dolphins will always survive, they will play in the Queensland Cup.

"The Dolphins is a national brand and we're going to treat it like a national brand.

"That's the name that we're going to stay with."

Murphy said he had a long-standing personal relationship with Flannery and was confident he will be able to soothe the situation with the local council.

Club wants Dolphins to be a national brand

He denied any suggestion that calling the team simply the Dolphins was forced on the bid by NRL and ARL Commission powers such as Peter V'Landys.

The New Zealand-based Warriors are the only other NRL club to not have a locality attached to their name.

Murphy said the most important part of the club's branding was the logo they'd fought to deny Gold Coast using when they joined the competition in 2007.

Seen here, Wayne Bennett has a laugh at his unveiling as Dolphins coach.
Wayne Bennett was on Thursday officially unveiled as the Dolphins' inaugural coach. Pic: AAP

"They ring us probably a night before it was going to be announced that they were going to be the Gold Coast Dolphins," Murphy said.

"We didn't know a lot about brands back in those days, but we did know that we wanted to keep the Dolphin and we wanted to play in the NRL. That was our goal.

"What we did do was a lot of research and after that research told us that the Dolphin was the most powerful IP that we had.

"For us to not to go with the Dolphins would be silly.

"It's such a good brand.

"It's very good for children, very good for newcomers - people that want to come into the game love a dolphin - mum's love a dolphin, we all love them.

"That's pretty much the reason why we chose it and we had to lock it in."

with AAP

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