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SBD Global/June 28, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

West Coast Pirates Release Name, Logo In Hopes Of NRL Acceptance

West Australian Rugby League on Wednesday launched the team's name and logo, in hopes of entering the National Rugby League in '15, according to Chris Pike of the AAP. Although years out, the team "already face a fight" from A-League Perth Glory owner Tony Sage just to be the most attractive bid "from Western Australia." The WARL dropped the WA Reds name and logo "in favour of the West Coast Pirates." Sage is teaming up with former rugby player Benny Elias "in their own bid" for Perth's NRL franchise, and it is believed they are willing to guarantee $100M over 10 years. The Pirates' proposed colours will be red, gold, black and white "to resemble those of the Western Reds team" that was based in Perth from '95-96 (AAP, 6/27). The strength of the bid is strongly supported by the WA government through the $96M upgrade of nib Stadium and their willingness to see the sport grow in WA. Furthermore, there is a growing population keen to see rugby prosper in WA (WARL). Pirates CEO John Sackson said that market researched showed that many people in WA had a "positive affinity with the old Reds moniker," and many others did not. Sackson said, "We see this as an exciting brand." In Sydney, Glenn Jackson noted that team executives decided against just representing Perth because they did not want "to limit the club's reach." Sackson: "'This team, should we get the opportunity to enter an NRL team, will be based out of Perth but it will be representing Western Australia" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/28).
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