Ok, I have tried combatting this name on various threads and I know others have also started to share their discomfort elsewhere.
This is not a story directly affecting my family, but I do know a family that have been affected by football hooliganism. The brother of someone I know personally was stabbed to death just because they were wearing a shirt related to a club notorious for hooliganism. They had no links themselves but apparently were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As a result, I find the Wahooligan branding utterly offensive. I feel that Wahoo are completely deaf to the connotations this branding has in certain parts of the world. I have asked countless times for Wahoo to stop calling me a Wahooligan with no response. I love the training platform but I hate the branding and the lack of empathy or response. I have to ask, is it time for me to leave?
I think they’ve made it pretty clear that they’re not gonna change it. Disappointing as that is, as they’ve been offered a lot of reasonable alternatives, the branding goes back several years and they’ve been using it in their social media marketing for as long as there have been hashtags.
I’m no fan of the name either, but I’m not personally offended by it. I do, on the other hand, completely understand how off putting the association to hooliganism is and frankly am both a little surprised and disappointed that they’ve not taken people’s opposition to it to heart. And, I seriously doubt anyone would miss the term if The Company ever did decide to change it.
So, given that the term is unlikely to go away anytime soon, provided you still want to use their products (and why wouldn’t you, they’re pretty awesome and their CS is legendary) the only thing you can do, besides continuing to voice your displeasure, is to limit as much as possible your own personal exposure to it. That can be achieved by not following them on social media, you can block them even so they won’t show up in your feed. You can also unsubscribe from any of their marketing emails. That at least would mitigate your exposure to the term.
I’ve taken the tack of simply refusing to call myself that name and will instead continue to use the term Wahoolimabob in most references where the term is in use. Eg, The Wahoolimabob Tour, and the Wahoolimabob route for the Wahoolimabob Tour. Last year, I even mocked up a poster
And also designed and sold a limited run of Wahoominati jerseys
Something to always remember, Wahoo or not, is that you don’t owe loyalty to a company. If their behavior, decisions, philosophy, choices don’t align with yours in ways you can’t reconcile then walk away (of course some companies have monopolies like ISPs so it can be hard).
Clearly we aren’t getting through here, or via social media.
Maybe everyone who is offended by the term/brand should write directly to the Chairman and CEO of Wahoo and explain the connotations in Europe.
Yes obviously their PA’s will filter emails, but if there are sufficient emails a good PA makes a comment to their boss.
You’d also be amazed by some of the CEO’s that pick up their own emails on their phone at the weekend…
Chip Hawkins is the chairman (and founder) and Mike Saturnia is the CEO. Email addresses at Wahoo are in the standard form of
firstname.lastname@example.org so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get through to them.
My personal favourite/easy rebrand would be the simple drop the ‘g’ and make Wahoolian.
Also sounds more like a nationality like Belgian, Sufferlandrian, Canadian, American, English… oh alright doesn’t work for everyone
While I think the assessment of brand terms belongs to the basics of every company which markets worldwide, it could be that the company simply missed it. Therefore I really consider your proposal.
I‘m still wondering why this negative connotation can be overlooked. I just entered the term „hooligan“ into the google search for pictures. The output is already visually awful. You don‘t want to see it nor to read the headlines about ultra violence and even murder coming along with those pictures.
Of course search results are localised and in the US you may see different results.