The expansion of the NRL into a second city will help improve free-to-air ratings, but if an entity does not have a rich history in the region, it will be difficult to build a fan base for an NRL standard team in its first season. The Firehawks, however, are inheriting the East Brisbane Tigers’ rich history and the fanbase they have built up over the years.
Shane Richardson, a former Easts man and former South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO, has been tasked with resurrecting the Firehawks. Richardson, who is the head of digital marketing agency Rich Digital, understands the power of the perfect ‘UX’ in the digital space and has developed a blueprint for the new team. It is this blueprint that has made rugby league a 24/7 proposition for fans.
The Firehawks have a strong balance sheet, with a combined asset value of $80 million. The team will operate out of a new $7.5 million community centre in October 2021. The club will also focus on developing Queensland rugby players and coaches, and fostering participation in the game by extending its reach to grassroots clubs and junior academies. The new team will cater to the needs of a younger audience, which is vital for the Brisbane franchise. In addition to a traditional fan base, the Firehawks also have a thriving social media presence, with active pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
The Firehawks have also begun talks about merging with the Easts Tigers, a feeder club for the Melbourne Storm. The Jets, meanwhile, are an east-Sydney rival, and they are not alone in their ambition to join the AFL. Both sides are confident that the merger will increase the club’s reputation and attract more investors. But it’s not clear if they will end up making this deal.
As the city’s NRL franchise candidate, the Brisbane Firehawks have released their new logo and team colours. Featuring a swooping raptor, the new logo evokes the spirit of the Firehawks and the history of the team. While the team has a strong history of rivalry with the Cowboys, their logos are a perfect match for the Firehawks’ blue and gold hues.
The Brisbane Firehawks, backed by the easts Tigers, are aiming to become the 17th NRL franchise from 2023. The club is backed by easts Tigers, who are a feeder club of the Melbourne Storm. The bid is a huge step for Brisbane, as it would create a fourth team in the region. Furthermore, it would also give the free-to-air broadcaster a major boost.
Another bid from Brisbane is an amalgamation of two previous bids. It would be based in Ipswich and play its home games at Suncorp Stadium. The bid from Ipswich, which is home to the A-League’s Brisbane Roar, does not have the money to pay for the new stadium, but it does have the advantage of a built-in rugby league fan base and a predicted population boom.
It is expected to be the 17th team of the NRL in 2023, but it is still up in the air. The NRL is planning a meeting on Thursday to decide which club will join the competition in 2023. In the meantime, the winning club will start building their roster for the 2023 season on November 1. Easts Tigers CEO Brian Torpy said that the club has not yet received notification of the NRL’s decision, and is awaiting more information.
The Tigers have a history of overcoming crisis and reinventing themselves. The team nearly collapsed in the 1930s after three consecutive winless seasons. But it bounced back to compete in six consecutive Grand Finals, winning eight out of 19 seasons. They also enjoyed a golden age during the 1960s and 1970s, winning their first premiership since 1971. The new era of the Tigers saw the end of a 15 year drought.