What’s in a name?
Since we re-branded a couple years ago, I have had a lot of people wondering and asking…where did the name JAM come from?
After 25 years as the Sport & Social Club, why would you change your name, especially during a global pandemic? What does JAM mean?
Short answer. I thrive in chaos…kidding (sort of).
Here’s the truth. Pre-pandemic, we had been discussing a name change for a variety of reasons. Sport & Social Club is long and a bit of a tongue twister. The common acronym “SSC” was easily confused and frankly, many people who played with us, didn’t necessarily know they were playing in an SSC league, they just knew they played on a Tuesday night rec soccer team with friends or co-workers.
We had built a business focused on delivering good service to our players, we had not focused on building a recognized brand per se. And as we were strategically expanding our operations into new cities across Canada and the US, we believed we had an opportunity to build a brand that was synergistic with connecting people through PLAY.
During the pandemic, as all our sports leagues were mandated to stop playing – we had to pivot to survive. And pivot we did (still not a fan of the word pivot mind you!)
We started helping corporate teams to connect through PLAY in new ways. As we started to sell our virtual games and events to corporations around the world, it was a clumsy pitch… “Would you consider having your corporate team enjoy a game of Name That Tune Bingo – or try a Virtual Escape Room – with the Sport & Social Club?” So awkward.
We needed a new name for our new corporate PLAY vertical. We brainstormed with our team, with friends and colleagues who are brand specialists – we even toyed with the idea of a made-up name, and nothing was feeling just right.
One day in the early fall of 2020, my brilliant friend Clay Hebert called me and said “What about JAM?” The minute I heard him, I loved it and the fireworks went off for me. It was perfect for so many reasons.
It’s active, it’s playful, it’s short, it’s a verb, it’s a noun, it’s easy to say and easy to remember, and lots of JAM-azing puns to be had…see what I did there? 😉
And the best part was – which Clay could never have known – was this. When my Mum passed away, after a 3.5-year battle with cancer in 2002, we started the Judith Anne Memorial bursary at the Northern Ontario cancer research center. And we started running charity sports tournaments called JAM tournaments to raise money for the bursary.
So similar to when you are choosing baby names…when you’re re-branding a business – when you know you know. And when I heard “JAM” I just knew, it was perfect!
I loved our new name and brand so much that a few months later I pitched my partners on the idea of rebranding our entire organization to JAM.
Thus in March 2021, with the core purpose of connecting people through PLAY, we officially became known as JAM! What’s your JAM?