Some news on the NBL Canada front this past week involving the two new franchises in Nova Scotia.
First, the new Halifax team, replacing the Rainmen, unveiled their identity as the Halifax Hurricanes. In a vacuum, this is a good name for the team. It has alliteration, which is usually a good thing when branding a team. Also, hurricanes do occur in the area so it does have some local relevance to it. Also, for those who believe in it, there is the intimidation factor with a name like the Hurricanes. But, the names isn’t all good. One could argue that Hurricanes is too similar to Rainmen as they are both weather related names. Considering how the Rainmen ended (the Game Seven forfeit of the NBL Canada Finals), trying to differentiate from them as much as possible can only be a good thing. As it has been pointed out of Twitter over the past couple of days, the name “Halifax Hurricanes” is already taken by a number of (youth) sports organizations. As a simple Google search indicates, there are teams in ringette, lacrosse, volleyball, and (of course) basketball already using this moniker. The name Halifax Hurricanes was also used by a team in my son’s rookie baseball league this past summer. What I am trying to say is that a more unique identity could have been possible. Another criticism of the new organization is their hiring of former Rainmen owner Andre Levingstone. Again, the best strategy for this team, coming off what the Rainmen pulled off last April, is to avoid any connection to said franchise. This includes bringing in 100% new management, coaches, players, etc. to separate the Hurricanes from the Rainmen. I would extend this to having an unrelated team name and colours to the old one.
Up in Sydney, it was announced that the new Cape Breton NBL team has delayed their start from this upcoming season until 2016-17. This was done mainly for financial reasons. The current group wants to bring more investors into the fold to allow more capital for when the franchise launches nest fall. The delayed start will also help with the marketing of the team as the owners would have been rushed into such decisions before this season’s opening on Boxing Day. Now they have a whole year to get their ducks in a row which should help. Having said that, a team name is expected to be announced in the not to distance future.
Considering the bad press the league had after the Finals last season, it will be an uphill battle for both teams to overcome. Considering 25 or so local business people are behind the Hurricanes, hopefully they will shed the image of the Rainmen and have a successful operation both on and off the court. I wish both organizations luck and hope they are around for years to come.