Things We Think We Think #105


1. Is the club being dishonest about its use of “Hull City Tigers”, the presumed forerunner to “Hull Tigers”? That’s not a pleasant accusation to level at our own club, particularly when thoughts should be focussed upon an impending return to the Premier League. But when we see the new sign outside the training ground, in conjunction with a raft of other Hull City Tigers evidence, we must unhappily conclude that the assertion it’s purely for commercial purposes is false.

2. Perhaps they conclude that we’re idiots and will accept this hateful rebranding if it’s done slowly and slyly enough. Maybe they calculate that the excitement of the top flight will somehow make us forget 109 years of heritage, or that pliable Soccer AM-raised NuFanz now outnumber grumpy Boothferry Park veterans by a sufficient margin as to make it worth the risk. Perhaps they just don’t give a toss what we think. But we know the club are reading, so let’s once again spell it out as clearly as possible: any rebranding whatsoever involving the club’s name is completely unacceptable.

3. The mooted benefits are wholly illusory. The idea that millions of football fans abroad will magically cotton onto City purely because of a name change is so ridiculous as to be hardly worth discussing. It won’t attract new customers; it will simply alienate lots of existing ones. Hardly sparkling business acumen. And it’s depressing to hear City fans witlessly extolling these alleged benefits in a bid to sound knowledgeable about the modern game. This is all Championship Manager’s fault.

4. So, no benefits, but no little duplicitousness. Where’s the consultation? When has such an emotive topic ever been raised in an open and honest fashion? Nowhere. This leaves a desperately sour taste in the mouth. At least be honest with us.

5. The truly absurd thing is that the notion of pushing the Tigers brand abroad is actually a very good idea. We have a fine, stout, traditionally English name that we’ve grown to like over the past century and a bit and would like to keep, if that’s alright; equally, we’re blessed with the best nickname of any team in England. That should be taken advantage of, and can be with a bit of imagination, but not by clumsily appending it to our name and making us sound like participants of ice hockey, rugby league or a silly American sport.

6. Of course it’s possible we’re overreacting. We have before, and we will again. But one thing is undoubtedly true: if this happens, then even its subsequent reversal will not spare us from mockery that will last forever. The terraces have long memories and this has the potential to make us a laughing stock as long as we all live, and deservedly so – which makes it all the more important to halt the madness now, before it’s too late.

7. We’re grumpy. So let’s continue. £50 for Chelsea?! No-one wins prizes for originality by grouching about ludicrous ticket prices, so perhaps it’s worth looking at a bigger picture instead. At present, British sport is on perhaps its biggest high in recent memory. The glorious 2012 Olympics are still fresh in our memories, in tennis we have a reigning Wimbledon and US champion, two of golf’s majors are presently held by Brits, the last and next Tour de France winners are from these shores, the British & Irish Lions recently provided great happiness for eggchasing advocates, while the nation is about to be transfixed by the latest installment of the Ashes. And what is football’s counter-offer? Fifty pound tickets and Hull fucking Tigers.

8. Football is no longer merely in danger of eating itself, it’s already begun. Autocannibalism is enthusiastically underway, and the whole fascinatingly grisly process is actually speeding up. When we hear of City fans with decades of service to the cause not even thinking of attending the opening game of the season because of the ticket price, something is seriously sick with the whole game. Maybe it needs another sport to genuinely overtake in the nation’s affections to jolt it back to reality. After all, who would you rather see on the news – Alistair Cook, Justin Rose, Andy Murray…or John Terry?

9. Adel Taarabt? No thanks. Great player, but a deeply unappealing human being.

10. Let’s end on a happy note. On Thursday, two of your humble editors are going to Portugal to watch City, see the sights and sounds of southern Iberia, and perhaps even have the occasional glass of beer. We’ll try not to sound too smug as we – to quote one of our number – live-tweet the shit out of it.

17 replies
  1. Lee Freer
    Lee Freer says:

    Spot on as per. Ain’t half bloody frustrating not being able to look forward to a season of top flight Football without this nonsense in the background.

  2. Cai Melakoski
    Cai Melakoski says:

    You are (again) so right – changing the name e.g. to” Hull Tigers” would be ridiculous; totally agree the club has “a fine, stout, traditionally English name”. When I became Hull City fan (maybe the first in Tampere, Finland) in 2007 the name didn’t play a big role, but would it have been “Hull Tigers” I believe I would not been interested to give the club a second thought.

    And now that I’m interacting I use this opportunity to thank you for this blog: total brilliance, absolute awesomeness. You are worth every drop of excellent beer that passes your lips!

  3. Ian Hutchinson
    Ian Hutchinson says:

    The poll in your forum says 30% would accept some re branding, so some fans are prepared to give the Allams some slack in terms of marketing (haven’t they been running a successful word-wide business?). The Asian market is huge and the Tiger is revered culturally through-out the far east so why not promote our nickname more? It’s not just about expanding the fan-base but possible sponsorship and investment opportunites – would you rather have Cash Converters as sponsors next year or Tiger Beer?
    The assumption that Hull City Tigers will lead to Hull Tigers is guesswork, “mockery that will last forever”, “a laughing stock as long as we all live” – yes you’re overreacting!

  4. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    #9 Warnock’s new book spends an inordinate amount of time on Taarabt, including 2 pages on his hissy fit at the KC. Clearly a brilliant player not to be touched with a barge pole unless you want dressing room unrest. Oh, and sometimes Warnock has marmalade on his toast, sometimes not. That’s how interesting the book is.

  5. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “would you rather have Cash Converters as sponsors next year or Tiger Beer?”

    Do you really think it’s an option between the two? We’re a Premier League team, we can and hopefully will do better than Cash Convertors next time, regardless. We won’t have Maguire sorting out the deal for a start. And kit sponsorship tends to bring in relatively little when compared to TV money and the like. Why do you think the likes of Aston Villa could forgo this money to promote a charity? If the money was so crucial/lucrative, I doubt they would have been so generous.

    As for the Allams’ success with a worldwide business seemingly automatically translating to football, do you really need a list of the successful businessmen who have failed in football? They know the marine generator business, fair enough, but that doesn’t mean we should just accept them trampling all over the club’s heritage because they think that Asia is about to ditch its love for Manchester United and Barcelona in favour of a team that shares a name with an animal that holds some significance for some countries there. The Detroit Tigers don’t really challenge the likes of the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees for worldwide/Asian popularity. Their sponsorships/associations have a distinctly American feel to them.

  6. Les
    Les says:

    So, all anyone needs to do to get money in Asia is sell something with a tiger on it? It’s that simple? That’s the inference, that these silly people with more money than sense just can’t resist Tigery tat and will absolutely be buying replica shirts on Tiger Leisure just as soon as we change name? Piffle.

    If you look at the teams that are successful in Asia, you’ll note that 1) they win lots of trophies on a regular basis and 2) those clubs make a big deal out of their tradition and history, they don’t just change it to make a quick Yen.

    The club can promote it’s nickname more without a name change, the tiger is quite conspicuous on our badge as it is, but it doesn’t need Hull City to say on the commercial site that the Allams bought Hull City Tigers in 2010 when in fact they did not, they bought Hull City AFC.

    Mr Hutchinson says it’s guesswork that we’ll become Hull Tigers, but the club are already referring to City as that on both the OWS and Commercial site. If we accept Hull City Tigers readily, the dropping of ‘City’ in our name is a whole lot easier to manage. Is it not guesswork that Tiger Beer will sponsor us with a name change? Is it not guesswork that our club will be revered in Asia with a name change?

    I was looking at a site that discussed Manchester United’s work in Asia, it said that despite all their groundwork there the percentage of their income from Asia was minimal, and that their hopes of flogging £50 replica shirts were dashed by relatively low working wages and a culture of buying cheap counterfeits across the continent. Asian language MUFC magazines have been scrapped because they didn’t sell.

    If a club with a truly global reach finds it a tough market to squeeze income out of then City being able to do it with a tacky rebrand is highly unlikely. The brand that is powerful in Asia is the Premier League, and the money we make from Asia will be TV rights negotiated on behalf of and shared by all Premier League clubs. A name change makes no difference to that.

  7. Hometown Traitor
    Hometown Traitor says:

    Spot on blog post and spot on comment at #6 – if Man U can’t do it – there isn’t a club that can!

    Whilst I’m a hull “boy” they’re not my first team (hence my user name). However, they’re still a team close to my heart – and i’m annoyed that they just don’t have the cahuna’s to be honest with the reasons for doing this (or indeed that they’re doing it in the first place).

    Lets not beat about the bush here… you aren’t going to sell any more shirts because you have a name thats similar to a sacred animal in China. There are other animals on the “sacred” list: Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Rabbit, Snake.

    So all thats required are for Leeds Pigs to turn up (sounds kind of catchy) and they’ll sell more shirts then?

    There’s only one thing thats for sale here – the club. The only money they’re after from the far east is one man and his mega-bucks. Sell the club now, maximise profit and walk away. All people at the top of a business have an exit strategy – this is theirs.

  8. Ian Hutchinson
    Ian Hutchinson says:

    Swansea are earning £2m this season from their Chinese shirt sponsorship (almost enough to run a Category 1 academy), so its not just the big clubs making money in Asia.

  9. Les
    Les says:

    You’ve sort of smashed your own argument there. Swansea have a Chinese sponsor because of the pull of the PREMIER LEAGUE, as I stated in my earlier post that’s the real big brand, and they’ve done it without a name change, and without Swans being revered in Asia. It is the television deal that brought that sponsorship in, as that Chinese sponsor will be seen on Chinese TV, and money from that Chinese TV deal goes to City too.

  10. suttontiger
    suttontiger says:

    Excellent article and no you’re not overreacting – Hull Tigers by stealth it seems – should they make the mistake of sending me anything branded Hull Tigers (I accept it on emails and leisure wear etc ) instead of my beloved Hull City they will get it sent straight back to them with interest.

  11. Occasional Fan
    Occasional Fan says:

    Allam Marine should change their name to Al-Ma to take advantage of the positive conotations (“nourishing” in lating “soul” in Spanish) and to increase sales of generator-themed merchandise in the vital ‘Alma Cogan fans’ and ‘guests at the Alma Lodge, Stockport’, demographics.

  12. Harry O
    Harry O says:

    The fuc#ing Hull Tigers, what next? The team is called HULL CITY, the nickname is THE TIGERS, that’s who I used to walk from Anlaby to Boothferry Park to see as a teenager, That’s who I support! Change the name and “come you Iron”
    p.s. The Tigers was not the first nickname, look it up!

  13. breadvan
    breadvan says:

    When I saw the much awaited Tuesay article was almost exclusively about issues unrelating to the team, raher a rant about ‘political’ issues, I inwardly groaned. Sure it will be cause for dispair if we do go down the awful American line but damn!
    But then I read it. Hell it’s good! Proper journalism. And yes it does matter.
    Good stuff guys.

  14. Andy
    Andy says:

    Thank you. We do drift into the club’s politics a bit, but then again it’s more interesting than uffing about 20-goal-a-season-strikers or box-to-box-midfielders, etc.

    Besides, Steve Bruce is (quite rightly) never going to pay any attention to our advice on transfer or tactics, whereas we CAN have a (modest) impact on the club’s ethos – goal music, the name, safe standing, whether West Yorkshire Police are a massive shower of bastards, etc…

  15. breadvan
    breadvan says:

    Well, looks like the open letter has had the desired effect. Without the pressure you applied, Nick Thompson would never have made such a clear denial. Having done so, he has effectvely closed the door on the rebranding option. So unless I’m mistaken…. job one.
    Again, well done!

  16. Les
    Les says:

    We hope so. It wasn’t a firm denial, more a ‘does not forsee’, and he said he can’t give any guarantees, so it wasn’t quite the unequivocal statement we’d all like, but the club can be under no illusions about the level of feeling about this across the fanbase now. That’ll do for now, and hopefully we can just talk about football for a bit.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] though, as this superb editorial from the Hull City fanzine Amber Nectar suggests – and forum posts on the […]

Comments are closed.