It’s official! After all the doubt swirling around Super Rugby’s latest expansion team, Japan’s entry into the southern hemisphere competition now has a name and arguably the greatest logo in rugby history.
1. They’re the Sunwolves.
These ain’t no ordinary wolves. That would be far too easy. In Japan things are always better when two completely separate things are combined to make a powerful new thing. This is a land that brought us the Mitsubishi DynoBoars, the Suntory Sungoliath, the NEC Green Rockets and the Panasonic Wild Knights. Can you imagine if we just had the Knights, the Rockets, the Goliath and the Boars? Boring.
2. They have an all-new audience to thrill
Thanks to the Brave Blossoms (there we go again) and their great run at RWC2015, the Sunwolves may well have a whole lot of new fans when they finally kick off against the Lions this season. According to this tweet from World Rugby CEO, the Japan v Samoa game this week completely ate the old world record for a single country television audience when it was viewed by 25 million in the land of the Rising Sun
3. They have really thought about this name
Apparently, the name was the result of a worldwide fan engagement search, but let’s be honest, that’s probably bullshit. This name is as Japanese as sashimi. Even the official media release hints at this fact when it says: “The name is a hybrid comprising the blazing icon of the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ and a wolf which represents a pack hunting mentality and a dedicated team ethos of protecting one another.”
4. Which reminds us, who wouldn’t want a job naming Japanese Cars?
We at the Spinoff Sports would just like to see the world driving a Toyota Scrotum, or maybe even a Nissan Hymen or perhaps a Mitsubishi Low Self Esteemer.
5. The new logo goes well on any background colour.
No cyan, that’s the trick. No cyan to be seen anywhere in this logo, which means it is perfect to drop onto all the colours of the rainbow, as this brand guideline will tell you. We’re not sure, but this could be a massive hint that the Sunwolves are about to unveil more away kits than the Warriors. Please let this be true. We want a Sunwolves jersey for every day of the week.
6. This logo is absolutely crazy
How could you not love this logo? There are so many things going on here, we simply do not know where to start. Actually, here’s a start: That is not a wolf, that is half a wolf. What happened to the other side of its face? Was it burnt off by the sun?
7. There is a random lightning bolt in this logo.
Why? What does it mean? Was there are a sale on Pantone 130C? Don’t get us wrong,we love a lightning bolt. A lightning bolt screams, “that’s a great idea!” So, obviously re-imagining a lightning bolt and placing it randomly in the team logo for the Sunwolves was a great idea. It’s true genius is that it has absolutely nothing to do with anything else going on here.
8.The Sunwolves have signed former Blues lock Liaki Moli
Which is bloody good for him.
9. They have a great new teaser site up and running
Amazingly, Their teaser site plays a looped video of Super Rugby highlights featuring every New Zealand franchise and a clip of Israel Folau. There is not a Japanese player to be seen anywhere on this video. It should have just been endless shots of Fumiaki Tanaka smiling at the cameras. Everyone loves Fumiaki Tanaka.
10. Have you seen their conference?
The Sunwolves have been put in a conference with the Cheetahs, the Lions and the Bulls. Could there have been a bigger stylistic mismatch for the Sunwolves if you tried? Just when you thought this was a good idea…