Why Derek Beaumont deserves credit for bold rebrand of ‘Leigh Centurions’ to ‘Leigh Leopards’ ahead of Super League 2023

THERE have been very few days like it in Super League.

But, yesterday saw one of the most radical rebrands of a top flight team since the advent of the Super League era.

‘Leigh Centurions’ are now the ‘Leigh Leopards’ with owner Derek Beaumont revealing so in a press conference yesterday afternoon.

Alongside the rebrand, Beaumont announced ten new signings with the likes of Leeds Rhinos men Zak Hardaker and Tom Briscoe joining as well as Castleford Tigers man Gareth O’Brien and Huddersfield Giants star Ricky Leutele.

A whole new kit, logo and name takes some preparation, but Beaumont did it at the perfect time.

Whether it was merely a coincidence or not, the Leigh announcement took place on a day where there was no World Cup game so, in effect, all eyes were on the Lancashire club.

Not only that, Beaumont got the whole of rugby league talking about his new ‘Leopards’, whilst other Super League and Championship sides also reacted to the name change with the likes of Huddersfield Giants and Featherstone Rovers calling themselves the ‘Huddersfield Hedgehogs’ and ‘Featherstone Flamingos’ in a spate of social media posts.

Hundreds – and even thousands – of interactions on Twitter to the new rebrand made the ‘Leigh Leopards’ one of the most talked about events of the rugby league calendar in 2022, despite the ongoing World Cup.

Beaumont himself is a character that puts his money where his mouth is and he adores his Leigh club, something which must be lauded in a difficult financial climate for the overwhelming majority of the UK.

The owner of AB Sundecks – the company which sponsors the 1895 Cup – and chairman of Leigh is determined to right the wrongs of the past when the Leigh club made it to Super League three times, only to be relegated in their first year of being in the top flight.

To do that, he has brought in a brilliant team of Adrian Lam as head coach and Chris Chester as head of rugby and has now bankrolled a strong squad that certainly does not look out of place in Super League.

As well as bringing in ten new players, Beaumont has also helped to keep some of the most important players of Leigh’s Championship charge including Blake Ferguson, John Asiata, Tom Amone and Edwin Ipape.

As outspoken as he is, Beaumont is one of only a few chairmen to possess a social media presence, allowing for transparency and interaction that is almost unheard of in sport.

As things stand, it appears as though the Leigh owner may well have got it right this time, though the Leopards’ kit has certainly hit the headlines!