Team LeOpArD-TrEk Guidelines Forces Stupid Naming Uses

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It is bad enough that the newly-formed team of cycling superstars Andy and Frank Schleck is burdened with the unfortunate name “LeopardTrek” but we have (as have many other members of the media) just received word from Trek outlining the official use of the team’s name.

I’m not just talking about how to spell team’s name (all caps)–there are guidelines here for use of the word Team (we’re not allowed to say it), how to punctuate it (no hyphen, one word), but Trek went so far as to detail how we’re supposed to pronounce it as well.

Let me put this delicately, Trek. We love you, but no god-damned way are you going to tell me how to pronounce the word “Leopard.”

First, let’s look at their guidelines–below is their actual email, we’re not making this stuff up.

**Hello all,

It’s been an exciting week for Trek as we announced our co-title sponsorship of LEOPARD TREK. The anticipation behind this launch is understandable, considering the fire power in the roster. There will undoubtedly be a significant portion of media coverage surrounding the team as the season kicks off next week at the Tour Down Under.

Please follow these naming standards when referring to the team in the media:

The team name is LEOPARD TREK. Please do not insert the word “Team” before LEOPARD TREK, in writing or conversation, as that is not part of the official name.

Please do not hyphenate LEOPARD TREK.

In written communication, LEOPARD TREK must be set in all caps.

In spoken communication, please use the appropriate pronunciation: LAY-oh-pard Trek.

INCORRECT: The new Team Leopard Trek includes… CORRECT: The new LEOPARD TREK team includes…

INCORRECT: Leopard-Trek was presented to the media… CORRECT: LEOPARD TREK was presented to the media…

INCORRECT: Trek announces sponsorship of Team LEOPARD TREK… CORRECT: Trek announces co-title sponsorship of LEOPARD TREK…

Thanks for your help in establishing the proper team name standards. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.**

The first, and most glaring problem here is that the name of the team derives from two separate company names, neither of which is written in all-caps.

Leopard is the absurdist name of the holding-company owned by team manager Brian Nygaard, clearly something that got mangled in someone’s German-to-English dictionary. It’s the sort of name we’d expect to see on a package of laundry detergent forlornly sitting on a shelf of a Laundromat in a small German town. And it would smell, oddly, like grapefruit.

Here are the meeting notes for the naming of the sports management company.

13:01 - Meeting started.

13:02 - Floor opened to discussion for names that indicate speed, strength and power.

13:03 - “Rocket Engine” suggested. Overturned.

13:04 - “Super Fast Awesome Leg Guys” suggested. Overturned.

13:07 - “Chimpansee Riding On A Segway” suggested. Overturned when discovered it already existed.

13:09 - Leopard suggested. Put to vote.

13:10 - Leopard made official name of holding company.

13:10 - Meeting adjourned.

The other component of the team name is Trek, which has never been written in all caps.

So you take two companies that have never had their names in all caps, put them on a bike and suddenly both must be written in all caps. Uh huh.

The next problem with Trek’s directive is that it mandates where we can say “team.” Quite honestly that’s a decision that’s not up to Trek. Sure, no one would say “Team Yankees” because baseball has never used that convention, but in cycling it’s common parlance to use the word “team” first regardless of whether it’s in the name of the team. Listen to the coverage of the Tour and you’ll hear every squad referred to as Team-something-or-other regardless of how the team is officially named. It’s just going to be that way.

If Trek had just asked us to keep the “team” lowercase, that would be one thing, but you can’t just banish a word from being used in certain parts of a sentence.

Moving on, the next head shaking issue is that the pronunciation of Team Leopard Trek is being mandated. Aside from Bob Roll I can’t think of a single American who says “LAY-oh-Pard.” Even the pretentious-affluent owners of the Jaguar (which is really a Ford) and call their car Jag-u-ar” aren’t ever going to say “LAY-oh-Pard.” Hell, put Bob, Phil and Paul in a booth and you’re lucky if they can pronounce any word the same way, good luck getting them all to say this as mandated.

And finally, to be nit-pickey there’s the issue of saying “Trek announces co-title sponsorship…” instead of “Trek announces sponsorship…” which can be boiled down to “if you put money into a team, you’re a sponsor. It doesn’t matter if there are other sponsors, you’re still a sponsor. No one goes around saying “Saxo Bank, co-title Sponsor of Team Saxo Bank Skin Guard” and they’re not obliged to say “co-title sponsor Trek” either.

I think this all just makes cycling sound haughty and pretentious. It’s already embarrassing enough that I have to explain to non-cycling friends that I’m rooting for Team Leopard Trek without having to root for “the LEOPARD TREK team.”

Oh, before I forget, if you mention this post to anyone, be sure you correctly say “I read a posting on BIKE HUGGER the website”–but remember to put “the website” at the end and to pronounce it “HUG-U-AR.”



17 Comments

Uh, Trek was always written in all caps for at least the first five years or so — even in random copy text, it was always TREK in the thin font they used for their first logo.

Even after they stopped doing that, I’m pretty sure the logos and decals have always been 100% caps.

Well, their Twitter account is [@TrekBikes](http://twitter.com/trekbikes).

i’m not sure where or when this “let’s send out a directive on how to pronounce our barand/product/company name” thing started, but i have a suggestion to ALL of them doing it. Pick a name that is not ambiguously pronounced, spell it properly (brand names like ‘hawt bykz!” are dumb) and call it a day.

oh yeah and go team SpottedCarnivorousFelineLongJourney

When you think you’re the most important bike team in the world and this we must all accept, this is how you communicate.

DefLeppardTrek—a tribute band that rides old madones from gig to gig.

You gotta love their double standards.  Just got an email newsletter from Trek Travel and in the first sentence .... the Leopard Trek Team featuring .... ooops so much for the all caps rule.

Or it could be that the memo was created as an internal guide and not meant to be sent to media. Hmm

Ford sold Jaguar <a >in 2008 to Tata Motors of India.</a>

As far as Trek being all caps, that’s ONLY their logos. This sentence is from their site, under the announcement of TeAm LeOpArD-tReK

“Trek announces co-title sponsorship of LEOPARD TREK, the world’s #1 ranked road racing team.”

About sending it to the media, it’s not like someone tripped and hit the CC-ALL button. That’s entirely possible. It DOES read like a sheet that’s “how to handle the media.”

@monogodo, good point I should have said “which isn’t even a Ford these days.” :)

That and a topic made for [27b/6 type satire](http://www.27bslash6.com/).

The folks at LEGO have been banging the same drum with limited success for at least a dozen years.

One of the juicier gems:

If the LEGO trademark is used at all, it should always be used as an adjective, not as a noun. For example, say “MODELS BUILT OF LEGO BRICKS”. Never say “MODELS BUILT OF LEGOs”.Also, the trademark should appear in the same typeface as the surrounding text and should not be isolated or set apart from the surrounding text. In other words, the trademarks should not be emphasized or highlighted. Finally, the LEGO trademark should always appear with a ® symbol each time it is used.

Why in the name of any decency does this picture go with the article?

Shotgun wedding, which is apropos to the name of the Schleck’s Trek team and Trek’s messaging. Also this post is editorial satire, the humor of which I think is lost on some readers.

The industry, bike racing, roadies, and the teams they form all take themselves to seriously. Ever wonder why people hate Roadies? Check the attitude of the most awesome team to race the roads of earth and the companies that sponsor them for the reason why. Same attitude has a racer-wannabe, terrorizing the bike path.

@beanie - because Trek is trying to force their naming convention *at gunpoint* so to speak. It’s a metaphor.

Welcome to editorial satire folks.

I am going with tEAm lEOPARD-tREK tEaM for now.

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