It was perhaps not what you would expect, but the WARL is confident that it can work – with the Western Australian Rugby League launching their new name, the West Coast Pirates, to become the face of rugby league in Western Australia.

The presentation was seen as an important step forward for the organisation, as it begins its push to house a team in an Australian rugby league competition once more.

Richard Campbell, the bid Chairman, said that all involved were pleased to have finally been able to release the announcement and new look for the bid.

“We are excited with the brand and felt it time we opened it up to the community. Even though some people may question the deviation from the established Reds, our research has shown it will be a fantastic new identity for the game.

“The Reds will always be part of our heritage. This launch comes as the second phase of our bid process after launching our Vision 2020 two weeks ago. The next phase is the completion of the actual bid document which is well in hand,” Campbell said.

John Sackson, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the WA bid, explained the reasoning behind the changes to the bid itself.

“The brand is fresh, exciting and new to Australian sport and we believe it has a marketing edge that will be enthusiastically embraced by both our stakeholders and those new to the game.

“While the bid process and any moves on expansion are very dependent on the Australian Rugby League Commission’s strategic plan, there is an expectation that we need to be prepared and ready.

“From our conversations with the ARLC we understand there is a willingness to develop the profile of Rugby League in Western Australia and we expect that the television rights, being negotiated at the moment, will be announced in September with the strategic plan soon after.

“Equally important to this announcement is our message about presenting a ‘whole of game’ approach to our bid which ensures the local game not only survives but thrives with the introduction of an NRL license. Our statewide development of Rugby League through the grassroots club and school competitions will be tied to the success of the national team for the long term.

“There is a genuine excitement for the game in Western Australia and we are prepared to work with the ARLC, the state government and our stakeholders to see it happen. We honestly believe it not to be a case of if, but more when this will occur. Hopefully our preparedness will assist that process,” Sackson said.

With the continual support of the Western Australian Government, evidenced by the $96 million upgrade of NIB Stadium, both the government and the Western Australian population, are keen to see a prosperous growth for the bid team, as well as for their potential future foray into the NRL.

The ball is already rolling for the WARL, with current sponsor Cash Convertors staying on board, as well as McDonald’s, Player and The Complete Group also involved as a sponsors with the club.

The new website for the bid is www.westcoastpirates.com.au.

By ricky

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