Behind the”Tarzan Defense”:What has changed the club’s name?
Xinhua News Agency reporters Wang Haoming and Wu Shuguang
At the end of 2020, a paper document of the Chinese Football Association started the trend of neutralizing the names of professional football clubs. The Football Association announced in a recent announcement that more than 80%of the neutral names declared by clubs meet the requirements of relevant documents. And as the registration deadline set by the Football Association on February 28 is getting closer and closer, the club’s renaming issue is being placed under the spotlight.
In the past two days, Guangzhou Evergrande has changed its name to complete the industrial and commercial filing. The”Taishan Defense War” surrounding Shandong Luneng’s rename was once on the hot search. Shanghai SIPG plans to change its name to”Shanghai Seaport”, Beijing Guoan and Henan Jianye and other veteran clubs have been renamed pending… all of which have caused widespread concern.
What was reflected in the”War of Mount Taishan”? Why is it so difficult for the club to find a new name? What profound impact will the club’s name change have on Chinese professional football? Worth pondering.
The beginning and end of”Taishan Defense”
On the 13th, Shandong Luneng Club issued an announcement stating that after the review of the Chinese Football Association,”Shandong Taishan Football Club Co., Ltd.”It complies with the requirements of the”Notice on the Implementation of Non-Corporate Change of Club Names in Professional Leagues at All Levels”, agrees to use it, and puts an end to this ups and downs of the”Taishan Defense War”.
Previously, Shandong Luneng planned to change its name to”Shandong Taishan”. On the 11th, Shandong Luneng issued an announcement stating that due to related reasons, the club’s first neutral name change submitted by the club failed to pass the review of the Chinese Football Association.
It is understood that the “relevant reasons” mentioned in the announcement, that is, the new shareholder of Luneng Club Jinan Cultural Tourism holds shares of “Shandong Taishan Health Technology Co., Ltd.”, which does not comply with the Chinese Football Association’s The name is non-corporate requirements.
Just when many people regret that Shandong Luneng could not use the name”Taishan”, a day later,”Shandong Taishan Health Technology Co., Ltd.” was renamed”Jinan Cultural Tourism Sports Development Co., Ltd.”, Luneng The club declared again and was approved by the Football Association.
Why is”Tarzan” so scarce?
Most of the football circles agree that for Shandong Luneng,”Taishan” is the first choice for rebranding.
Mount Tai is known as the”Five Sacred Mountains” and is an important symbol of Shandong. The Luneng team often expresses their determination to climb the summit in the form of climbing Mount Tai. In the grandstand of its home stadium, there is also a banner”Believe in Taishan”.
The name”Taishan” is also a return to Luneng. In 1993, Shandong Taishan Football Club was established. Since then, the company has changed several times. The word”Taishan” has not disappeared. Many old fans have been Call the team”Taishan Team”.
Therefore, keeping”Taishan” is a blessing for Shandong football and Chinese football. The quick and decisive response of Jinan Cultural Tourism, the new shareholder of Luneng Club, also demonstrated its pattern and feelings.
However, not all clubs’ name changes are as recognized as”Tarzan”.
Henan Jianye proposed to change its name to”Luoyang Longmen”, which caused controversy, and the club decided to withdraw the new declaration; Shanghai The Hong Kong’s renamed”Shanghai Seaport” has also been complained by many people,”it seems like it has not been changed.
For clubs, it seems easy to find a name that represents the regional culture and highlights the characteristics, but it is not easy to be widely recognized by all walks of life. Especially for some old clubs, the original names have almost been carved into the bones of the clubs, such as”Guoan”,”Jianye” and other names, which were originally corporate names, but over time they have become cultural symbols of the club itself. .
Faced with such a situation, the competent authority has to maintain the unity and fairness of the rules on the one hand, and on the other hand it has to consider the continuation of culture and the feelings of the fans, which is in a dilemma.
This is one of the reasons why”Tarzan” is so scarce.
What has changed the club’s name?
The name of the club represents a cultural identity. Chinese football culture is nurtured in these names, and these names also set the”initial value” for Chinese football culture.
Sports industry expert and professor at Wenzhou University, Yi Jiandong, said that the Football Association hopes that the name of the club can be more organically integrated with the local culture and achieve integration with the inner spiritual essence of sports. In addition, it is also hoped that companies can creatively combine corporate culture with sports culture and display them in a more”advanced” form.
Zhang Qing, the founder of Key Way Sports Consulting, believes that in the process of neutralizing the club name, there must be proper guidance and sufficient time.
“Give the club a certain period of time to brew a neutral name, the real”century club” will not change its name due to changes in investors, so it has the opportunity to have a stronger geographical area in cultural construction A sense of belonging will play an important role in the process of establishing a city’s name card.” Zhang Qing said.
Many legal professionals believe that the name of the club is an intangible asset. Yu Jiahua, director of Shandong Gongfu Law Firm, believes that after the club’s name is neutralized, the stadium can be named and the chest advertisement can be used. However, in a short period of time, this intangible asset will weaken the investor’s brand association. , The enthusiasm of investors may be affected.
Zheng Jianjun, Deputy Director of Sports Business Research Committee of Shanghai Lawyers Association, Senior Partner of Shanghai Jintiancheng Law Firm Said that, from a legal and commercial point of view, the club name is an intangible asset of a professional football club. Therefore, the”mandatory name change” may distort the market.
“After the name change, the enthusiasm for shareholders’ investment will definitely be hit. At present, most investors still have a speculative mentality, and the neutral name directly squeezes the speculative space.” said Xu Xingjun, former Luneng club management .
Experts believe that due to the impact of the epidemic, investors in many clubs are facing greater operating pressure. In order to protect the enthusiasm of investors and help the professional football market achieve a”soft landing” in the cold winter, it is recommended that the competent authority When reviewing the name change, in addition to rigid requirements, leave some time and space appropriately to give the club a”buffer period”.
The industry believes that in the short term after the name change, the club’s marketing value to existing shareholders will be weakened. However, in the long run, the “exclusiveness” of the club after the neutralization of the name will weaken and the “inclusiveness” will increase, which is more conducive to the development of multi-channel and three-dimensional marketing resources, and it is imperative to reconstruct the business model.
Zhang Qing said that the original club’s business model was “B2B”. After neutralization, “transfer payment” is difficult to maintain. The club will calm down to cultivate fan organizations and fan culture, and build closer relationships with fans. Link.
“We still have a lot of room for the supply of sports cultural products. The consumer soil of the C-side needs to be continuously cultivated, and it also depends on the top-level design of the alliance. In the era of mobile Internet, there is still a lot of space.” He Say.
Source:Xinhua News Agency