Spikeball™ vs. Roundnet - A user's guide
In the beginning there was Spikeball™. Life was simple and rallies were plentiful. However, as the popularity of the sport grew other companies saw an opportunity and began selling their own equipment. This left us in a bit of a pickle. If, as a company, we continued to refer to our sport as Spikeball™ then we risked losing the trademark around the brand we worked so hard to build. This scenario has happened to plenty of companies when their trademarks became genericized and we didn't want it to happen to us.
To protect our brand, we renamed the sport "roundnet." It may have seemed like a crazy doomsday-prepper-sort-of-thing to do, but it's actually super important for our business. When securing trademarks in other countries we need to point to proper and public use of the term roundnet and be able to demonstrate that we address misuse of the term Spikeball™.
How you should use the terms Spikeball™ and Roundnet
Spikeball™ = the brand. Roundnet = the sport.
We know the terms have been used so interchangeably over the years that it's easy to mix them up. We're guilty of making the mistake ourselves sometimes. Here's a little Q and A to clear things up:
Q: Can I say something like, "Let's go play Spikeball™ "?
A: It's better to say roundnet. If you're referring to Spikeball™ brand equipment then sure, that can make sense. If you're playing on a different brand of roundnet equipment and calling it Spikeball™, that's wrong. It's just like if you said "let's play Nintendo 64." It's okay if you're about to face off with Bowser but if you're collecting rings with Sonic the Hedgehog then it's wrong. If you say roundnet you'll never be wrong. It's one of those - a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square - sort of things.
Q: Can I use Spikeball™ in the name of a club, group, or team I'm forming?
A: No, any club, group, or team not officially associated with Spikeball™ Inc. should use the term roundnet. Since Spikeball™ is our brand name it can't be used in an official capacity by another organization unless we give written approval. Imagine someone opened a Crossfit Gym without actually going through the proper franchising process...that'd be a no no.
Q: Can I call the sport Revol?
A: Ugh, can we just forget about that. All joking aside, it's actually a pretty interesting story. If you didn't know, when we first rebranded the sport we called it "revol." The lawyers told us it wouldn't work. It was actually too unique and therefore would've given us trouble qualifying as the generic name for the sport. They wanted someting simple, straightforward, and self-explanatory. Roundnet it is.
How Spikeball™ Inc. uses the terms Spikeball™ and Roundnet
The same way you do.
It's just as important for us to use the terms correctly as it is for you. On our end, it affects our ability to secure trademarks, limit liability, and expand both the brand and the sport globally.
On our website and social channels, we use Spikeball™ for the brand and roundnet for the sport. The growth of the sport strengthens our brand and our brand is a catalyst for the growth of the sport, but making sure we talk to each of our audiences specifically is vital in ensuring continued success across all fronts.
On our brand sites and social channels, we tend to use the term Spikeball™ more because, well, that's the name of our brand. A lot of our communication is centered around driving brand awareness with new potential players or users. For these people, we’ve typically used #Spikeball and #jointhemovement consistently to introduce them to our brand and community.
As players become involved more in the sport we funnel them to our sport specific sites and social channels. These focus more on the term “roundnet” because we are highlighting the competitive sport. For example, the Spikeball Roundnet Association site and social channels promote #roundnet.
We're always working towards a healthy balance of promoting our brand, Spikeball™, and the sport, roundnet. Our marketing team spends a lot of time working on this effort to grow the movement as a whole. If you see something we've missed, messed up, or need to know about in regards to the usage of Spikeball™ vs roundnet the best way to let us know is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.