The West

Dockers weigh up smaller anchor
Dockers weigh up smaller anchor

Fremantle's jumper has received an overhaul and the club has a new logo they hope will set the stage for a new era for the AFL club.

As revealed by Channel Seven last week, the Dockers have made the changes - their first since their 1995 inception - following the conclusion to a 15-year battle, with American clothing giant Levi Strauss to officially use the name "Dockers" in marketing and in selling merchandise.

But contrary to speculation, there will be no changes to the club song. Fremantle instead intend to seek further feedback from supporters over summer on that drastic step.

Have your say on the changes below.

The agreement with Levi Strauss, manufacturers of their own Dockers clothing line, will cost Fremantle about $1000 a year in a royalty to the US manufacturer.

But it is significant given the results of a marketing survey by the club 18 months ago which showed that the two dominant factors that supporters and other stakeholders identified with Fremantle were the nickname Dockers and the colour purple.

Hence the new home strip will be purple with three thin white Vs across the chest. The away jumper will be white with three purple Vs across the chest instead of the anchor.

The anchor on both jumpers will assume a new position at the top on the back. The anchor will also be given a new, more dominant position on a new club logo which will also be unveiled tomorrow night.

The changing role of the anchor has drawn a mixed reaction from the club's passionate fan base.

Although the heritage jumper is widely regarded as one of the AFL's best, the anchor is seen by some Fremantle supporters to strongly represent the club's maritime heritage.

Several contributors on the club's unofficial fan website Dockerland have warned they are set to voice their disapproval if the anchor is done away with.

It is understood about 3000 Fremantle supporters were part of a survey gathering the information which has formed the basis for the changes, along with spot surveys done on crowds and interviews done with other stakeholders.

Although the club has declined to comment ahead of tomorrow night, it is understood the survey found that:

There was a strong preference by supporters to refer to their team as Freo or the Dockers or the Freo Dockers, much more than Fremantle. Almost half of the club's younger members "always" referred to their team as Freo.

About 42 per cent of younger members "always" referred to them as the Dockers and almost half "often or always" referred to them as the Freo Dockers.

The name Dockers, the colour purple and the club's song were easily the elements supporters associated most closely with the club.

The heritage style jumpers that Fremantle will be wearing in the AFL from next year. Pic: Getty Images.

Fremantle chief executive officer Steve Rosich said the key theme for each of the brand elements, which emanated from the 2009 review and member survey, was that they convey “strength, simplicity and authenticity”.

“The colour purple was the brand element that members and other stakeholders ‘most strongly felt’ should be associated with the Fremantle Football Club,” he said.

“Purple was seen as being ‘strong, liked and unique’. Consequently, the colour purple features prominently in both the new logo and jumper design.”

Rosich said that along with the reinvigoration of Fremantle’s playing list over the past two years, the new logo and jumper design were in keeping with the club’s aim of achieving sustained success on and off the field.

“In time, the unveiling of our new logo and jumper will be regarded as an important phase in our club’s history. It is both an exciting development to be part of and a major plank of our future direction,” he said.

“Significantly, we will officially call ourselves the Fremantle Dockers.”

Rosich said that the new logo would entrench the anchor as a lasting symbol of the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.

“Furthermore our new jumper, which was inspired by the heritage jumper first worn by the Dockers in 2003 at the MCG, is both an important tribute to our past and an acknowledgement of our football origins,” he said.

“We are proud of our 16 year history and proud of the logo and jumper that we have worn and displayed with pride in that time.

“Given the nature of the changes to our logo and jumper and their undeniable acknowledgement to where we have come from as a football club, let there be no doubt that our new logo and jumper will be worn with as much pride in the future as they were in the past.”

Club supporters have flocked to fan website to vent anger over the new design, with many furious they were not consulted or surveyed about the changes.

Many wrote of feeling uninformed or left out of the decision, poking fun at a membership survey that consulted 2900 people.

“I think the main point here is not whether or not we like the design, its FFC’s lack of consultation with its supporters on a very important issue. Even if you like the new look, did you like not being asked?”, “It’s not so much what they did. It’s how they did it.”

Dozens more have spent today filling up the website with cries of outrage: “This is a bloody ordinary design with zero imagination”, “The new logo is appaling,a pathetic marketing failure,it would be below acceptable for a clothing brand,and is totally unaceptable for our proud club”.

Much of the outrage has also come from the loss of the anchor branding on the player’s jumper: “Pathetic. The new logo is a twisted version of an American College basketball team and the jumper takes us so far away from our last 15 years that we may as well not have existed”, “We are now a new club on a par with the Gold Coast Suns. We have lost our history”, “Has a football club ever totally thrown away it’s identity? Ever? We’ve been the laughing stock of the AFL for 16 years, now they’ve got a real reason to laugh at us.”

The West Australian

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