What's new

Name Change - Important ?


(Starting a new thread so as to not sidetrack the important Fundamental Rule Change Thread)

Through their lifetime, many products change their name, normally for marketing reasons and the result is positive (or I guess the manufacturer would never undertake a name change). So what if the Laser were to change it's name. New Class Association which immediately recognises all Lasers pre <today> as complying and being recognised (so an already built Laser could join ILCA and new Class Association and new Class Association and compete in regattas for either).

Say they also included a decent sail (or 3rd party or measured sails as acceptable) and a few other "sweeteners".

Whilst the new class would not be an olympic class, many consider this an advantage.

Given that everybody would know that the <new class> was a Laser under a different name, given that everybody could be class legal and have decent sails, etc., etc. I suspect the <new class> would be quite successful. I see no reason why 2nd hand prices should still not hold-up well. I see no problems with Laser fleets at club level (given the widespread acceptance of 3rd party gear - the emphasis is on turn-out rather than strict compliance). Regatta organisers again want turn-out so would probably switch to the new class as this allows both new and old boats to attend (on "level playing field").

It certainly would not be the first product name change in history and such things can be managed and it certainly could include existing Lasers and provide benefits to existing Lasers (if the builder so chose).

Whilst a name change would not be an ideal solution and not happen by choice, as I see things it would not mean complete disaster. I'm sure there are many aspects I have not considered.



so, what name do you propose? LAZER? CLUB LAZER? what about sail insignia? maybe a blue starburst vice red? would that be enough to circumvent copyright laws?


Just sailing
I was actually thinking about this the other day. Amid all the arguements over IP, there is one thing that is clear. LPE owns the trademarks for the name "Laser" in North America and Europe. No one else can sell a sailboat, class legal or not, under that name in those markets.

How important is the Laser name itself? I think it depends upon wheter you race or not.

Racers will want class legal equipment. They will know what equipment to buy and where to buy it. The name Laser sounds nice, but from a racer's point of view they are buying the class and its 40 years of history. Doesn't matter if it's a "Laser" or a "Kirby Dinghy".

For recreational sailors, I think the name is very important. I find most people know what a Sunfish is, maybe having sailed one in the past ("one time...at summer camp..."). Of those people, a large subset recognizes that a Laser is a next step up in performance. They may not know one on sight, but they definitely know the name. This is where a fast-sounding name like "Laser" would help.

edit - Additional comment after further thought. The name "Laser" is probably immaterial to EXISTING racers. However to draw NEW people in the class, "Laser" sounds much sexier.