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Tasmania Jumps Into the NBL With New Franchise, Outrage Over Name Choice

T
he NBL has announced its 10th and newest club, set to join the NBL from the 2021/22 season, the Tasmanian JackJumpers, copping heavy scrutiny for the choice of name.

The announcement of the name received widespread backlash from high-profile professional athletes, including Andrew Bogut and Chris Anstey.

Former NBA champion, Andrew Bogut, said via his Twitter, “Joking yeah? Good one. Got me good.”

Bogut followed up with another tweet saying, “Not a good day for the old JackJumpers.”

Former NBL coach, Chris Anstey, also said via his twitter, ‘The NBL takes a great step back into Tasmania, then calls them the Jack Jumpers? My goodness.”

Former athletes in other codes were also giving their take on the new name, with former professional football player Alex Cisak also tweeting, “Shocking name for our Tassie team”.

On the other hand, Tasmanians seem to be the only ones supporting and understanding this decision of the name choice.

With a lot of backlash from other states, it will likely turn out that Tasmanian brands will ‘jump’ on board to work with the new franchise, due to having a true understanding of this new name.

Former Premier of Tasmania, David Bartlett said: “like many people I have been surprised by the choice of the JackJumpers… but one thing I have learned about branding up basketball teams is that it is less about the name and more about the narrative that goes with it,” he said.

NBL commercial manager, Lawrence West, said on LinkedIn that he expects people will eventually come around to the name.

“[My] gut instinct says the name will grow on people,” West said.

“Think of the mascot, the merch, the chants, kids love it…not to mention the ‘us and them’ culture that will inevitably develop between Tasmanians embracing their team and those sledging from elsewhere.

“Personally, I like it.

“It has character and it’s certainly not bland,” he said.

The franchise conducted an extensive search including a public campaign asking Tasmanians to nominate their favourite names, with nearly 10,000 entries being submitted.

Some of the entries submitted included ‘Tridents’, ‘Pride’ and ‘Mountaineers’ for the naming rights, however ‘Tigers’ and ‘Devils’ were not considered due to their respective links with cricket (Tasmanian Devils) and AFL (Richmond Tigers).