A Necessary ReDeSIGN — At U.S. Olympic Committee Insistence, Lombard, Illinois Olympic Signs alters name
“We are patriots who have the utmost respect for the U.S. Olympic Committee,” says Rob Whitehead, one of Olympik’s founders. “But, our business has nothing at all to do with sport – we’re a sign company. We don’t even incorporate the rings or torch in our brand. We’ve been in business for generations and have earned our stellar reputation.
Unfortunately, name-change requires us to alter all of our marketing materials, uniforms, vehicles, and yes, signs. It’s a costly request for us to fulfill.” The kicker, companies established before 1976 are grandfathered – it’s not necessary for them to change their name. Olympic was founded in 1982.
And, ironically, it’s not the first name change in the company’s history.
Rob Whitehead met Bill Pyter at the gym. They became friends and decided to start a business—a sign company. They struggled with a name, finally settling on Continental Sign Company. When the two applied for their business license they were told a firm with that same name recently had gone out of business. To avoid confusion, they decided to change the name. Reminiscing fondly about time spent at the gym, they recalled a brand of weights called Olympic. “The gym is where our partnership began, so we thought Olympic – yeah, that’s a great name,” remembers Pyter, “and we carried on with this name and reputation for over 35 years.”
The U.S. Olympic Committee granted Olympic Signs 18 months to fully convert to a different name. Pyter and Whitehead again went back to the drawing board. The solution that enables us to retain our hard-earned reputation and recognition, to keep our customers and the core of our brand is Olympik Signs.”
The silver lining of the company name change is buzz about the K. “People have seen our new name on our trucks and alert us to the fact that we’ve misspelled our name,” says Whitehead. “We just laugh, tell them we’re the new K on the block, and relate our story. We’re trying to see this as an opportunity to engage our audiences again, reminding them that we are a decades-old, reputable company with outstanding customer service. The changeover will just take some work and a little luck. See, lots of great things end in a K!”
SOURCE Olympik Signs