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Redcliffe Dolphins: The brand behind the brand

Sparked by an unexpected legal challenge over the rights to and ownership of the Dolphins’ name, the Redcliffe Dolphins and their legal team worked with DAIS in 2005 to establish strong brand foundations, clear trademark ownership and brand identity. In 2021, the NRL League was looking to add a 17th team to the national competition. With a powerful brand and community image the Redcliffe Dolphins were well positioned and a strong contender.


“The club’s brand is so strong it will generate support from across the nation if given a license as a second Brisbane team in the NRL”

– Redcliffe Dolphins chairman Bob Jones


Owning the Dolphins Brand

In 2005 the Redcliffe Dolphins faced a legal challenge with the Gold Coast Dolphins, now the Titans, over the true ownership of the dolphin brand. DAIS, as Brisbane’s leading brand agency, were contracted to map the equity and strength of the Redcliffe Dolphins brand to show depth and breadth of value. The case required explanation of the historical adoption, stakeholder recognition and ownership of goodwill in the Dolphins’ name and logo in respect to rugby league and the sporting community in Queensland.

To demonstrate the cultural and visual link between the football club and leagues club, DAIS undertook the brand development and strengthening of the Dolphins’ logo and trademark icons. Firstly, we worked with the executive team to identify the future of the brand, who they wanted to be, what they represented and their language and image would reflect this. Next, we produced brand standards management guidelines to ensure consistent application of the brand across the club’s marketing resources.

With our help, the Redcliffe Dolphins presented a strong case. As a result and to avoid further legal action, the Gold Coast Dolphins chose to drop its use of the Dolphins name and adopted the Titans brand. Owning and protecting your brand is essential for all types of businesses. It should incorporate a combination of brand, legal, accounting and employer brand strategies.


A Brand Built for the Future

As a result, the Redcliffe Dolphins had a trademarkable brand and clearly defined visual identity. Additionally, they had consistency in brand management and brand resources and more opportunities for brand leveraging and future growth. This same brand remains as a powerful foundation to recognition and has since changed the trajectory of the Redcliffe Dolphins. After this, they embraced their evolved brand and started to behave like an NRL-calibre brand. Specifically, they positioned themselves as a player amongst their peers with an equal brand identity. So they would be ready to join the NRL competition when the opportunity arose.

With new energy and clear direction to one day be an NRL team, the Redcliffe Dolphins built their reputation, community and facilities to be ready for their opportunity. The Redcliffe Dolphins brand now represents a shopping centre, fitness and aquatic centre, boutique stadium and 40,000 leagues club members.

You Attract What you Project

There was an opportunity to join the NRL and the Redcliffe Dolphins’ brand was ready for this next evolution, to elevate from the Queensland competition to the premier competition in Australia. During the bid process against two other Queensland teams, they were recognised as having “the strongest brand proposition” and a connection with the Queensland public.

The Redcliffe Dolphins have since won the bid and been announced as the 17th team in the premier NRL competition, starting in 2023. A significant milestone in their journey, with their brand a driving force behind their successful bid.

The Value of Protecting Your Brand

In the long and short-run, building a strong brand foundation using brand, design and trademarking strategies is one of the most important factors of a successful business, venture or product. In fact, businesses that successfully grow, expand and enter new markets have strong and consistently structured brands. Specifically, they’ve built their brand as a valuable asset and realise a return on their investment.

As experts with over 30 years experience building brands, we can help you trademark, protect and create true value for your brand. Get in touch with us here to discuss all things brand, strategy, digital and marketing.

DAIS is proud to have played its part in the growth of the Redcliffe Dolphins as a true icon of the Queensland sporting community.

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