Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Join the Red Revolution

Salford rugby league club is relaunching itself at the last game of the season on Friday.

In a so-called Red Revolution, Salford's new owner Marwan Koukash is rebranding the club as Salford Red Devils.

I've always liked the fact that Salford, unlike other rugby league clubs, has avoided silly names such as Bulls, Broncos and Rhinos and stuck to simple ones connected to its history, first Reds and now Red Devils (the nickname apparently comes from a 1934 tour of France where a journalist dubbed them "les diables rouges").

Although the Salford rebranding has obvious socialist connotations, it also reminds me a bit of the advertising for one of the worst beers ever brewed in Britain.


  1. Concerning your final line: yes, at first I thought it would be a post about Watneys Red Barrel.

    I agree about silly names; I'm sure the idea has been pinched from American football or basketball. Funny, though, how they only choose certain animals: no Huddersfield Hamsters, Preston Ponies or Chesterfield Chihuahuas.

  2. County cricket has also succumbed to this nonsense. Locally we have Kent Spitfires, (possibly connected with sponsorship by Shepherd Neame?), and Sussex Sharks.

    Fortunately at the moment, these silly names are reserved for the 20-20 one day, "pyjama game" matches. Hopefully they won't be adopted for the traditional, four day county championship games, but given the way money talks, and the demands of sponsors these days, who knows how long this situation will last?

    ps. I'm old enough to remember the advertising campaign for Watneys Red, with the "look-a-like" posters of Khrushchev, Mao, Fidel Castro et al. The company had spent tens of thousands, altering the recipe of Red Barrel to make it sweeter, would you believe? Fortunately, it disappeared without a trace, although it must be said it was one of the first beers to be served "Belgian-style", in a branded glass!