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  • "The way I look at it, a club/region has three types of fans; the die hard supporter, the casual fan and the glory hunter.
    The die hard supporter will make an effort to attend as many games as possible, support the club/region through thick and thin and have a genuine interest in the future and direction of the club/region.
    The casual fan will go to a few games with their mates, occasionally check the results and will have a passing interest in the politics of the club/region.
    And now the glory hunter, often lauded as the lowest of the low, but take a few moments to think; that without the success these fans crave a club/region will never gain the opportunity to present themself to a new fan, this fan could grow and learn to become part of a family of supporters; a die hard fan.

    The name given to a club/region has little to do with attracting new support, success does. The name may alienate a limited number of potential fans but success opens the door to a much higher number of potential season ticket holders.

    I am a Newport man, born and raised. A Newport RFC fan, a Newport Gwent Dragons fan, a Wales fan and a fan of the game. Notice a succession? This is not to say that any one faction is more important than the other, rather that without the foundations the game can not prosper.

    When Newport RFC play, I am a Newport Fan. When the Newport Gwent Dragons play, I am a Dragons fan and when Wales play I am a Wales fan. I'd like to think that this would be the case if I were from Ebbw Vale, Pontypool or Cross Keys. Club, Region and Nation, the way it should be."
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Logo debacle won't prompt Newport Gwent Dragons name change

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons do not intend to change their name despite a can of worms being opened up by the fiasco over a new logo, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Rodney Parade region made an embarrassing climbdown yesterday, closing a web vote to choose a crest just 14 hours after it started because of negative feedback.

Over 2,250 votes were cast on yourdragons.co.uk but the current badge – which has been on the jersey since 2003 – will remain next season rather than any of the three prospective options.

While the attempt to engage with supporters was laudable, the "brand refresh" idea merely sparked the age-old debate over the name.

The vote fired up rival factions with some arguing for it to be just Newport and others calling for the region to be known simply as the Dragons.

Not only that, the vote wasn't exclusive to rugby supporters in the region – people could have their say even if they had never heard of Rodney Parade let alone stepped through its turnstiles.

The embarrassing episode mere served to highlight the problems facing the region – choosing a new crest featuring Newport Gwent Dragons was akin to giving the radiator a fresh lick of paint and ignoring the crack in the living room wall.

Members of the board are frustrated at the debacle and while they acknowledge the need to establish a proper direction over their identity they feel the time is wrong for that particular debate.

They believe there are more pressing matters, namely the attempts of Regional Rugby Wales, the body representing them along with the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets, to thrash out a new participation agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union.

Nor do they intend to make any hasty moves in what is, and always has been, a delicate situation.

They are keen to attract support from all over Gwent to Rodney Parade but are well aware that the majority of their season ticket holders hail from Newport.

Detailed market research about what route to go down could happen in the future, but it does not appear to be imminent.

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