When the name of a brand/business/entertainment event conjures up images of negativity, or does not create a degree of desirability to be associated with it, then it truly is inhibiting growth and really should be changed!!!!
Every single person to whom I say …….GREATEST GAME……….BUT THE STUPIDEST NAME…… agrees fully. Not a single person disagrees! Not just nodding heads, in affirmation, but emphatically forceful and emotional responses of agreement.
While the backstory for this game may sound strong and passionate, that the game has been around for half a century……should not be taken as confirmation of the positivity of the name. The longevity is due to how great the game is!
That it is reportedly the fastest growing sport in North America again should ALSO not be seen as affirmation of the name, but rather how inviting, involving, easy to learn with low barriers to entry (costs $20 for a paddle) which are driving the growth of this game.
The name of the game in question is Pickleball, so negative and childishly inappropriate
that it should be transitioned through the passionate user base. Further, the descriptive zone (seen in black above), should not require an explanation of its obtuse name, which further serves to weaken acceptance of the game (eliminate the term and adopt the appropriate, existing alternate descriptor no-volley zone).
I will attest to the folly of this name as I refused to even check it out for over a year. An avid racquet sportsperson in squash for a half-century, as well as tennis, badminton, volleyball, I was a reasonably accomplished athlete and an avid participant. However, I could not be enticed by my partner to play for over a year because of the childishness of the name. How could any adult take such a game seriously?
One should never have to get into a long and drawn out conversation with someone to explain what NAME of the game is. They should just have to explain the rules.
While getting to a new and appropriate name may take time, arriving at an aspirational identifier such as those of these leading brands will positively impact not only the growth path, but the health of those who elect to take up the game. Close your eyes and think of the following:
No images of negativity right? None of these conjure up images of a bitter, goofy-looking, whacky green fruit/vegetable. But all have the impactful “K”.
The icons associated with these brands are also aspirational and positive.
Does one feel negative when they say they are going to play, tennis, soccer, football, badminton, basketball, golf?
PROPOSED NEW NAME PROCESS:
It is OK to be a critic, but one should provide well-supported alternatives and a process to evaluate them or others.
My 3 more appropriate names for this game, which thousands are passionate about
are Krakit because:
- It is very unique and descriptive of the sound of the racket contacting the ball
- It uses hard consonants, proven successful with major national brands using “K”
- It is sufficiently different from other games (even if people bring up Cricket, it is not close in spelling and also it is not an insect)
- Nor does it conjure up images of negativity, but I leave that to you, just one of the masses who play.
What should be considered in this new name if you do not agree with Krakit or my 2 proposed alternatives Krackball or Zoomball (with the 3rd because it is in large being played by physically fit people, a large majority are Zoomers ….. fit over 50’s who feel 20 years younger).
We must strive for a unique, strong, aspirational and OH, not childish descriptor. In doing so, do take into account the strengths of the game:
- Minimal impact
- As strategic if not more so than badminton
- 4 people play
- Equally balanced for males and females, with no physical advantage
- Points go to 9 or 11 or 15 depending on the numbers waiting to play
- The majority of the games are complete in under 15 minutes, for fast court rotation
- 2 Krakit courts fit on 1 single tennis court surface and can be played with minor modification
- People from the ages of 9 to 90 can play
- Requires touch and agility with the racquet
- Racquets are the only equipment and can be had for as little as $20 (a tennis court can be used)
- Courts can be set up temporarily with painters tape
- Getting hit with the ball is like a swat, nothing like being struck with a tennis ball
So get into the conversation. If you like Krakit, or the two lesser alternatives Krackball or Zoomball, then let me know and let’s get a groundswell of change going. Feel free to propose an alternative.