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What's in a name?

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There?s a great post on here today by Anna Spencer entitled ?Ever ?. Who?? that set me thinking. Basically we?re far behind the Reds in terms of marketing but partly this is due, in my opinion, to our low profile, which is in turn a direct consequence of our absence of recent success. Our lack of recognition is not just on an international level either. This was brought home to me starkly the season before last when chatting to a Middlesbrough steward before the game when he asked ? You?ve brought a good support ? where are you lot from??

After I?d picked myself up off the ground, I explained to the ignoramus that we were in fact a Liverpool based team. Now I know that it would be a complete anathema to a Blue to have the word Liverpool in our name but why couldn?t we be subtle about it? I mean, couldn?t we rename ourselves ?Everton ? OFCL? for example. This would prompt the question as to what the OFCL meant, allowing us to explain Original Football Club Liverpool. Sound crazy? Maybe, but Orient went back to calling themselves Leyton Orient and Albion reverted back to West Bromwich Albion. Roots and identity with a specific town are important and, unless you become a brand name in your own right as a result of prolonged Sky / Champions League success a la Arsenal, then it?s obvious that your profile won?t be as high as it could be. I think Tranmere suffer from this phenomenon for example.

Of course, I realise that our plans to leave the City for Kirkby will completely negate the above suggestion and I don?t believe that will do us any good at all in the long run. The City of Liverpool is undergoing a great revival at the moment and we need to remain a part of it. The key is how to we actually associate ourselves with what is an increasingly popular brand without actually calling ourselves directly by its name and without destroying our tradition.

So, shoot me down all those who think this is just a crazy idea! Of course, prolonged success on the football field and our problem with lack of profile would resolve itself anyway. Who knows, even the marketing aspect might improve as well!
Ray Robinson, Warrington     Posted 30/05/2008 at 18:45:48

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Albert Dock
1   Posted 31/05/2008 at 06:31:24

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A step too far methinks. I have only just got used to the idea of not calling them St Domingo F.C.

Besides if we move and have to rename the new place you can be sure it will be called something stupid that we will be associated with.

Probably the "Budgie For Sale (cage included)" stadium.
Marc Williams
2   Posted 31/05/2008 at 07:16:10

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Sorry Ray but you did ask for it.

Cue music:

BANG BANG you shot me down, BANG BANG that awfwl sound, BANG BANG etc

I think I just shot you down mate as its a BIG step too far me me this one. We are EVERTON & just need to be loud, proud, marketed by professionals (instead of the hopeless smurfs doing it at the mo).

I know our profile / image seems a bit under siege at times & the prospect of moving to Kirkby & surrendering the city certainly eats at my soul but with a bit more success we can reverse this. We just need to stand up (as we are increasingly) & stop the Redshite & their Koppite puppets in the council getting what they seem to want & forcing us out of the city.

Arthur Jones
3   Posted 31/05/2008 at 07:58:28

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NOT being associated with that horrible shower from across the park is a good thing in my eyes. We have our own identity and the team from the ?dark side? and especially their "fans" have done little to enhance the image of the City. I?m not going to highlight specific instances, I don?t need to but what really upset many of their "fan" was the reaction of the residents of Nuremburg and the subsequent letters in the Echo praising our supporters after our game there . Something which had many recalling the famous kick around in Rotterdam square between Everton fans and the local police... in 1985! We showed the world then how travelling supports should behave and we?re still doing it now. As you have said, success on the pitch will bring us the recognition we already deserve... Not hanging onto the coat--tails of "Europe?s worst supporters".
Nick Entwistle
4   Posted 31/05/2008 at 08:31:19

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No one cares about who the first team in Liverpool was, can you tell me the first in London?
This 1st tag comes up when Everton fans need something to boast about, and it’s poor in comparison to ’5 times’.
It might be part of our tradition, but much like the first 3 tiered stand, no one else will think anything of it.
However, says something though if the 5th best team in the worlds most popular league have no reach. Skyopoly it is.
Ray Robinson
5   Posted 31/05/2008 at 08:46:23

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Nick, to be honest I don’t care either whether or not we were the first team in Liverpool - I support Everton irrespective. I was just trying to suggest a way that we can raise our profile, capitalising on the image of the city of Liverpool whoes stock is rather high these days.

Arthur, if we really do want to disassociate ourselves from the name Liverpool because of the previous misbehaviour of the other lot across the park, do you realise you’re actually putting forward a good case for the move to Kirkby?

So many people want to stay within the city but refuse to acknowledge its name! Brand-wise, Liverpool is cool at the moment. It comes to something that a steward on Teeside doesn’t even know where we come from! Extrapolate that up many times and is it any wonder we don’t attract high levels of sponsorship?
Barry Scott
6   Posted 31/05/2008 at 09:02:13

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I do not agree that Everton should rename their name to publicise the club’s origins.

I think that a more subtle way would be to change sponsorship to a local company with a Liverpool association for example:

University of Liverpool, Cains of Liverpool, Royal Liver Assurance etc.
Ray Robinson
7   Posted 31/05/2008 at 09:15:36

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Barry, I agree that if a prominent Liverpool institution were to sponsor us that would be a good way of avoiding a rename but I hardly think any of those lot would be able to pump much cash in! I’m sure the students could have a whip round!
Trevor Day
8   Posted 31/05/2008 at 09:22:13

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if you really want to put our are club in the media high profile , then we should buy someone like Beckham, might sound silly but this bloke is news , where ever he goes the club gets a hat full of attention,
Tom Hughes
9   Posted 31/05/2008 at 09:51:52

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I believe the original Everton badge had a liver bird on it. Perhaps a subtle embossed liver bird on the shirt? Wary of adding to the badge too much, so many clubs have continually expanded their badges to the point that they nearly cover the chest and the detail is lost, but perhaps a secondary official crest (perhaps the original one)..... may be on the shorts or on the away kit, or just embossed into the fabric and used on letterheads together with the existing badge. It could just be one of the flags on the Bullens.... again a subtle reference to our history/identity.
Otto Heinonen
10   Posted 31/05/2008 at 09:55:47

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What a nice idea... let's buy Beckham. or Ronaldinho. what the hell, lets buy Christian Ronaldo. And Messi. Just to give Osman some rest during winter.
Jay Woods
11   Posted 31/05/2008 at 10:47:50

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Underneath the word Everton on our badge, in smaller font it should read:

"1st Liverpool FC"

I know a Man Utd fan who was shocked to discover Everton are from Liverpool!
Aiden Kirk
12   Posted 31/05/2008 at 11:34:58

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How about we call ourselves Everton FC and let the marketing muppets work with that idea

Just a thought
Adam Cunliffe
13   Posted 31/05/2008 at 11:38:32

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It is sadly true, because we don?t have the city name in our team name people don?t recgonise us as being from Liverpool. I do think we should show off our history more. Perhaps a "Liverpool FC?s founders" or a "If it wasn?t for us... They wouldn?t be here" would do the job of showing off our identity.
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 31/05/2008 at 11:35:24

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Hi Tom
The Liver Bird and the red rose of Lancs appeared on early strips; this has been mentioned in previous posts. Being proud of my City, I have no problems with using its name or emblem in connection with its premier team.
I have a .jpg of the Royal Blue Liver Bird which I use as PC wallpaper and on my mobile and get asked about the image regularly; I’d like to see the bird displayed somewhere on our kit
On my travels, I find most ’proper’ fans know where we come from (I knew from an early age where Villa were based, for eaxmaple) and inform the ignorant of our heritage (nearer home, I recall an altercation in the Anfield Rd end recently where a red didn’t know we’d once won the league at Anfield!)
I can’t remember who said it but I read a quote something like ’the history of football in this country is the history of Everton Football Club’. How true.
Barry Scott
15   Posted 31/05/2008 at 12:17:33

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Phil, I’d be interested to see the .jpg file, is it possible you could upload to somewhere like imageshack or photobucket so that we can see it?
Jay Houghton
16   Posted 31/05/2008 at 12:29:29

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Its ture, if you don’t have the name of your city in the name no one knows where you are from - I mean just look at Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham - no one would have a clue that they are from London Village would they?

And Aston Villa is from Cyprus isn’t it?

And don’t get me started on clubs like Queens Park Rangers!

Who are we? We are Everton!
Ray Robinson
17   Posted 31/05/2008 at 12:37:40

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Jay, London is entirely different. For a start there is no current football team called London for a start! Do you think that an American football team or a rugby league side starting out now and trying to raise their profile in this media / marketing dominated age would call themselves Walthamstow Warriors or Hounslow Harriors for exanple? No they?d capitalise on the London brand. Yes, we are EVERTON but we have to compete for media coverage / sponsorship with that (relatively successful) shower of shite across the park. We come from Liverpool - nothing to be ashamed of. Believe it or not, some people actually do not know that!
Arthur Jones
18   Posted 31/05/2008 at 12:52:57

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Ray, the point I was trying to make is that we have our own identity and certainly our own history. This will become more prevalent IMHO when the Everton Collection is released online for the world to see how much the history of our game was actually helped to be shaped and inspired by Everton. Thanks to Dr David France?s unique collection I think this will do more for our profile than a shop in Liverpool One ...... (Everton three) .. sorry, I couldn?t resist .

I am totally loathe to the idea of Destination Kirkby; it?s fantastic fans like Dr David and the effort and expenditure he used to gather the artifacts that comprise his works which will ensure the world will know WE ARE EVERTON!

Greg Murphy
19   Posted 31/05/2008 at 13:43:12

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Ray, I’m exactly with the spirit of what you’re saying. The execution would have to be spot-on, of course, but as a general principle I’m all for a rethink (no, not a rename - far from it) of the subtleties of our marketing profile.

I’m all for a reclamation - if indeed that’s what it is - of the Liver Bird. When people think about the image of the bird, most people think about the artistic impression of it that LFC have copyrighted. But there are plenty of other depictions - (for example the jet-black cormorant-based official emblem of the city which is quite distinct from the the more phoenixesque creature they’ve adopted) - which we can incorporate into our marketing (no, not in the badge).

I’m also all for the adoption of an additional PR strap along the lines of "Everton FC - Liverpool’s first football club". Let’s face it, "the People’s Club" took off without any trouble (with the added bonus, which nobody expected, that it jacked them off so badly).

If we’re all about "knowing our history" I see no problem (and there’s certainly no harm, which is always a good yardstick) in pinning our heritage down precisely; for as you allude to, we are slipping ever further from our birthright.

Overall, I think it’s high-time for everyone connected to EFC to start the fightback, start the reclamation and basically say enough’s enough. We belong: whether they like it or not.

We can’t do anything now about the breathtaking arrogance / smart PR that a certain W.E. Barclay demonstrated in 1892 when he advised John Houlding to dispense with mere parochialism (e.g Bootle FC, Everton FC) and name the new mongrel team after the whole city which was only 12-years-old by then.

But we can assert our heritage and our pride: after all there was a social History of Everton (the place) written (1830) way before the first social History of Liverpool.

I think your thoughts deserve more rounded consideration before being (understandably) dismissed as anathema.
Phil Bellis
20   Posted 31/05/2008 at 15:28:01

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Here you go, Barry
Let me know if I’ve cocked it up and I’ll get my young ’un to sort it out for me!
I can’t remember where I got the bird from but the medal, depicting the Lancs Rose and Liver Bird is from the David France Collection (great man!)
So, the bird was associated with Liverpool’s premier club as far back as 1914.
I recall reading about even earlier depictions of the Liver Bird on Everton-related ceramic tiles that were rediscovered beneath the plaster walls of the Sandon (our old changing rooms?) during renovation some years ago

I see the Liver Bird bird emblem almost every day on the shields on the Runcorn railway bridge that, I think, mark the old Cheshire/Lancs mid-Mersy boundary

Paul Thompson(1)
21   Posted 31/05/2008 at 16:29:51

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Yet more evidence of how ’ordinary’ Blues know their history. If the other lot can have Repaint The Kop why don’t we start our own movement, Reclaim The Bird?
Our City, Our Home, Our Heritage

Somehow, singing about hanging the kopites on the banks of the Alt doesn’t appeal
Ray Robinson
22   Posted 31/05/2008 at 16:56:04

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Greg Murphy, thank you for trying to understand the principle of what I was trying to say. Rename or not, we must harness our ties with Liverpool (the City) to raise our profile - especially on an international level.

How we achieve that I’ll leave to the experts but one thing is certain - if we leave for Kirkby we’ll have undermined our whole heritage, tradition and marketing potential.

I’m all for your "Everton FC - Liverpool?s first football club" slogan by the way! Shame we can’t work the Beatles in there somehow as well!
Phil Bellis
23   Posted 31/05/2008 at 17:13:58

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Try Everton - Liverpool’s premier football club
RTB - nice one!
Ray Robinson
24   Posted 31/05/2008 at 17:22:17

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Phil - we might just get done under the Trades Description Act with that one! How about using the Heineken trick of inserting "Probably" in front!
Phil Bellis
25   Posted 31/05/2008 at 17:52:02

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Thankfully, ’premier’ has more than 1 meaning and we are grammatically correct applying it to EFC; the dark side can’t argue at all

1. First to occur or exist; earliest.
Albert Dock
26   Posted 31/05/2008 at 18:04:03

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It is Carlsberg actually.

But then I’m probably a pedant.
Glen Naylor
27   Posted 31/05/2008 at 20:47:56

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Here is the link for the Liver Bird on our league champions medals 1890/1891.
Chris Jones (Wakefield)
28   Posted 01/06/2008 at 00:29:20

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Well there’s a marketing opportunity straightway - why don’t the club strike replica medals (or convert them into badges)? Fans can then buy and wear them.

Alternatively, I remember about 10 years ago an image of OT was incorporated into the ’weave’ of manyoo shirts. This was rather impressive as the image was effectively poster size.

The same could be done with an image of that medal with the Liver Bird on it. Maybe it is time for us to reclaim the club’s heritage!
Phil Belllis
29   Posted 01/06/2008 at 01:20:30

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Thanks Glen...that’s the Liver Bird and the red rose backdated 24 years from the image I’ve got from 1914. There’s no argument: Reclaim The Bird! not the stylised kopite version but the historical Liver Bird
If only we had a proper, professional marketing setup at EFC (cf Buddy Holly, 1957)
Oliver Reed
30   Posted 01/06/2008 at 10:54:47

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This thread is tinged with lunacy!

Reclaim the bird?? It may just work.... GOOD GOD!!

John Pickles
31   Posted 01/06/2008 at 11:55:34

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Juventus don’t seem to suffer too much not being called Turin FC.
Ray Robinson
32   Posted 01/06/2008 at 12:06:49

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John, maybe it?s because they?ve been sponsored to the hilt by the Fiat motor company? Also, helped by the fact that they?re not eclipsed by their neighbours,who bear the city?s name (Torino). We?re in the same city as a club that has somehow won the European Cup/ CL five times. That does absolutely nothing for our profile

Besides, Juventus is worldwide brand name already ? regrettably, we?re not.
Tom Hughes
33   Posted 01/06/2008 at 12:05:25

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Lunacy is moving out of town to a place that is less accessible than the current site, of no international or even national acclaim and to a featureless flat pack stadium that reflects none of our history...... shear lunacy!

Turin is probably most famous for a piece of cloth. Liverpool is known for many things.... LFC rode the city’s bandwagon in the 60’s and completely turned around their fortunes, status and the way in which they were perceived. I quite like our understated persona, especially as it comes with a certain assurance backed by our history, it almost makes outsiders want to find out where we’re from, and certainly would with some success. Likewise, Juventus’ status is backed by their history and success with little need to attach to any other brand or enhancement.
Tony Keatin
34   Posted 01/06/2008 at 12:33:11

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I am a graphic designer so I'm going try and do some copies of the designs from the medals in the David France collection and send them to the club. Maybe if they see something of the originals done in the full design they may take a look into doing something. I think getting the original badge somewhere on the kit/ground is a great idea.
Greg Murphy
35   Posted 01/06/2008 at 13:24:46

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Ironically the club itself was so near yet so far on this when it played that "April Fools’ gag" on supporters in 2004 as the club website "announced" that the new design of our home shirt would feature a a relief image of a Liver Bird within its fabric (similar to the cited OT image that featured on United shirts in 2002).

Lost in the midst of the crass timing of the "gag" - it was just a week after Bernie Murphy had been killed by the gale-blown hoarding at Leicester - and the fact that it was just distasteful for the club to be taking the piss out of its own fans (especially in the same week that we’d just learned of the second serious season ticket hike in two year), was that there actually lurked a pretty good germ of an idea.

Despite knowing it was a wind-up, I was firmly in the "actually, you know, that’s not so stupid an idea" camp.

It was subtle. It didn’t alter the main badge or identity. It tapped directly into our history, heritage and belonging. All with the added bonus that it would have left them frothing at the mouth (a-la "People’s Club"), although that should never be our motivation ;-) Ahem.

And, of course, we’d have held the ultimate trump card when accused of stealing their identity as we’d have been able to educate them that the Liver Bird was associated with EFC way before LFC (a bit like I never tire of finding kopites who have no idea what their original nickname was/is *).

This is a good, valid and entirely appropriate debate we’re having here, imo. It most certainly ain’t lunacy.

There’s a way to square this marketing/pr/profile circle by retaining the understated intrinsic nature of EFC (as Tom Hughes correctly states) but at the same time reinforcing our status and heritage without garishly or cheaply diluting our time honoured and unique identity. All it needs is a deft hand.

Call it progressive traditionalism.

All for it.

* The Sailors. It was ditched by Shankly when he converted them to an all red kit and coined the hugely inspired new name "The Reds". Imagine any Evertonian not knowing about the name "The Toffees" and its connectivity with our heritage! These are the things that set us apart.

Paul Hardcastle
36   Posted 01/06/2008 at 13:58:46

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The Sailors! I did not know that. Now if only they’d been called The Seamen... Arf, arf!

I hate to admit it but Shankly was smart to ditch the name. For all our wonderful history, I have never been comfortable with the lameass "Toffees" moniker. But I guess I’m not supposed to say that, am I?
Micky Norman
37   Posted 01/06/2008 at 14:16:55

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Those who don?t know don?t matter. I?ve never met a proper football supporter anywhere who didn?t know where we are from. But then I try to avoid knobheads. But the Sailors - wow! I love it! Hello sailor! We don?t care what the sailors say..... Apologies to any real sailors out there but I just can?t help thinking about Larry Grayson, Dick Emery and Danny La Rue. I think it should become our new term of reference for the RS.
Oliver Reed
38   Posted 01/06/2008 at 15:25:11

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YES...relaim the bird from those pigging Sailors!

That’ll teach ’em...
Jason Lam
39   Posted 02/06/2008 at 02:20:26

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Was wondering if winning silverware would help raise our profile?
John Ruther
40   Posted 02/06/2008 at 11:46:57

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If we rebranded it would be like Magners and Bulmers.

Bulmers actually came first but Magners got all the press and subsequently Bulmers looks like it’s trying desparately to follow suit and jump on the "cider with ice" bandwagon.

This is exactly what it will look like if we use the Liver again, yes we used it first but it’s become synonymous with the shite. And if someone doesn’t know that we are from Liverpool- are they really going to know what the Liver bird even is??
Duncan McKenzie
41   Posted 02/06/2008 at 12:26:38

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The Sailors ha ha

Reminds me of that famous banner

Everton F.C. The Peoples Club

Liverpool F.C. The Village Peoples Club

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