FFA selling our soul, one logo at a time

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A change has been made to the Socceroos and Matildas logos, and it’s a further step by the FFA to commercialise what should have always remained as sacred national icons.

From here on the emblems representing our men and women on the international football stage will be adorned with the names of their respective naming partners, Caltex and Westfield.

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The logos mirror the current logos of the A-League, W-League and FFA, a move which unifies all facets of the professional game in Australia under one sleek, modern design.

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It’s a fantastic piece of marketing marred by the corporate names slapped across the logos like trashy bumper stickers on luxury cars.

Caltex gained naming rights for the Socceroos in 2016 on a four-year deal, after the FFA’s decade-long partnership with Qantas as naming partner ended in 2013.

The deal injected much needed funding into the Australian game, but what price can you put on the sanctity of a national treasure?

Make no mistake, the Socceroos and Matildas are national treasures.

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Sport in Australia is our pride, and as much as I wouldn’t want to see an 18-year-old cricketing prodigy be given his first Woolworths Baggy Green, I sure as hell don’t want to see a young footballer be given his first cap as a Caltex Socceroo.

We don’t have basketball, rugby and netball teams; we have Boomers, Wallabies, Opals and Diamonds, names affectionately given to our sporting teams to add to our national sporting identity.

So for sporting purists around the country, tacking brands to the iconic names of our national teams feels utterly blasphemous.

Realistically speaking the FFA will not pass up financial aid from a naming partner to please fans, but there are ways to go about it to make branding our football teams more palatable.

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If you’re going to do it, at least do it right: take the ‘Qantas Wallabies’ for instance.

Lets not kid ourselves, brands are all around us in our consumer society, and Qantas is a brand steeped deeply in the identity of Australian culture.

When I think of Qantas I think of the soaring Kangaroo, I think of a choir of children in white shirts on our coastline belting out “I still call Australia home”.

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I think of the Wallabies.

When I think of Caltex, I think of oil money, fossil fuels, and nothing of Australian culture.

The naming partnership between the Socceroos and Caltex ends in 2020, and my hope for the future is for the FFA to steer away completely from selling our name to the highest bidder.

In lieu of that, I would at least hope they consider options that don’t scream “sell-out” as much as giving our name away to a petrol station.

First it was the name and now it’s the logo, and at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up one day in 2030 to hear news of the retirement of Aaron “Star Mart” Mooy.

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Having Caltex and Westfield as part of the names of our national football teams is one thing, but the FFA’s decision to include these brands in the new logos is a step too far towards selling the soul Australian football.

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.

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