NBL launches campaign to name new Tasmanian team

The NBL has launched a four-week campaign asking Tasmanians of all ages to nominate their team names ahead of Tasmania’s entry into the league in the 2021-22 season.

Those who enter the naming competition have a chance to win four season tickets, a signed inaugural jersey and meet the players from the new team.

Former Devonport Warriors and North-West Thunder coach Phil Thomas said he was confident Tasmanians would come up with a name that represented the team, putting forward the suggestion The Islanders himself.

“I’m sure there will be plenty of names thrown around and we can’t have the Devils, but there are plenty of other Tasmanian connections to choose,” he said.

NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman said the only requirement was that Tasmania was part of the name.

“We need the help of all Tasmanians to name their new team and give it a strong identity that captures the spirit of Tasmania,” he said.

“The rest of it is up to people’s imaginations and we look forward to receiving lots of different and fun names and some great debate among everybody.”

A shortlist will be formed before the name and colours of the new team is announced later in the year.

Sports Minister Jane Howlett said it was a chance to be part of history.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Tasmanians to embrace our brand new team. We have so much to celebrate when it comes to our rich sporting history and culture in Tasmania,” she said.

“I have no doubt the passion of Tasmanians who have wanted a team of their own back in the NBL will see some inspiring names put forward for consideration.”

Thomas said engaging with the team would be key to its success.

“The thing everyone has talked about is that there has to be a Tasmanian connection. I don’t think with the Devils 25 years ago we had that.”

“We need to be able to connect and make sure the North-West and North gets an opportunity to be involved through games in Launceston or promotions and through our schools. I don’t think they can play games in Hobart and think Tasmanians will connect, but we also have to take responsibility for that as well.”

In preparation for the 2021-2022 the team has hit the ground running, advertising the first key roles

“There is much to be done over the next 12 months as Tasmania prepares to return to the NBL after a 25-year absence and we couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead,” Kestelman said.

Tasmanians can submit up to three team name ideas each at www.nbltas.com.au