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“Ready, set, rally” has been the chant for University of Hawaii athletics fans fighting to keep the “Rainbows” nickname in the game. The school decided on cleaning up the mishmash of nicknames by using just “Warriors” instead.
The change in this longtime tradition has gotten some fans riled up, prompting a rally to keep the “Rainbows” nickname. With signs in hand, a group of kids, university students and old-timers stood outside of Bachman Hall to educate the public on why the Rainbow is something special.
One of their biggest gripes is that the new athletic director, Ben Jay, has only been in Hawaii for a month; therefore, he had no right to jump in and change tradition. According to news reports, Jay’s decision was based on a marketing standpoint. Former football coach June Jones attempted to do the same thing but failed.
Both sides seem like legitimate arguments. Coming from a journalism/marketing background, I understand how difficult it may be to brand something with several different names. Right now, four of the seven men’s teams go by Warriors, while three go by Rainbow Warriors. The baseball team is strictly called, Rainbows.
On the flip side, these names have become part of tradition; not only for the century-old institution but for Hawaii as well. Over the years, thousands of athletics fans have showed their support for UH sports teams – whether it be attending a game or wearing a team shirt. The green, black and white runs deep in our island community; changing that would be like changing history.
We’ll keep you posted on how the story unfolds.