Official Team LAY-oh-pard Trek Talk

You want us to pronounce it how?

As a journalist your e-mail inbox can be full of requests from companies and athletes. Sometimes it’s a press embargo (please don’t announce our new widget before this date) which never works. This time of year, and because cycling’s sponsors swap around as much as a two dollar whore, we get requests on how to spell their new team name. Perfectly reasonable request. Someone or some company has ponied up the money to be on the team jersey and they have the right to tell the press how the name should be. Usually it’s Team XYZ presented by W. You have to feel sorry for the “presented by” sponsor because after a while they get hosed and to the consternation of the team marketing guy it gets left out of any press the team might have scraped up.

Journalist Shane Stokes pointed out that the whole “presented by” was started by the Postal Service team. The full name was the United States Postal Service presented by Berry Floor. Of course no one remembers the Berry Floor part and I bet right now Berry Floor is happy about that…

As you all know the new team on the block Leopard-Trek was unveiled in a very Cirque du Soleil manner. There were acrobats and a guy dressed like TRON in a hamster wheel rolling around on the stage – very surreal and not sure what it had to do with cycling, but hey, maybe this is how they do things in Luxembourg? Little did we know that this was just the beginning of odd behavior.

Today Leopard Trek not only sent out a press release on the official manner in which they would like the team to be written but also how to pronounce the squad’s name. I read through it and thought, “Are they kidding?” I re-read it thinking it was some kind of hoax. Nope – they were serious. Now I totally get the reasoning about how they want the name written – they have a marketing plan and they want the squad branded in a certain manner with the sponsors getting maximum love. But telling us how to pronounce the team’s name and to spell it with all capitals – that’s just plain ridiculous.

First off don’t push your Euro accent on me. That’s your burden – not mine. Also all caps to spell out the name? That just looks ugly when written out. In all the times I had to write “Trek” the Wisconsin based company never once told me that it should have been all caps. I will respect their request for no hyphen between the two names, but I’m not going to write LEOPARD TREK.

Below is the press release/ cheat sheet from Leopard Trek and maybe I’m just part of a massive hoax. I’m sure all the journalists will have this printed out and placed beside their laptops for reference.

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.


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