Forced Blog Name Change

As I moved along blissfully in my little runner’s world little did I know how far reaching some of the things I write go. On Friday afternoon I recieved a call from two gentlemen from Rodale Press. It was 3:00 pm; 6:00 pm Eastern time so it must have been important working overtime on a Friday afternoon. Rodale Press sound familiar? Yup, the publishers of Runner’s World magazine. Maybe it was a subscription renewal call? (I haven’t subscribed in 20-plus years.) I knew once they put me on a speaker phone this was not a hello-how-are-you kind of call. After some perfunctory niceties they got to the point.

The bottomline is that they insisted that the name of my blog “The runner’s World According to Dean” be changed. Why? It is rather simple, I used the term “runner’s world” in my title.

I never knew that my runner’s world is now encompassed by Runner’s World and they now speak for all runners’ worlds and that no one can have a runner’s world of their own. I bet you didn’t even know you didn’t have your own world to run in!

Oh and get this one – it was brought to these two “gentlemen’s” attention by one of the RW publication editors who found my blog and “was confused thinking I was part of their Runner’s World”. Do they hire idiots there? Ok, rhetorical question, I was on the phone with two more.

Did you know they will stop anyone using that term. They stated that they are diligent about policing that term. So be careful when you write things like …”in a runner’s world…” or as a coach you say “…in my runner’s world…”  And don’t have those words embedded in any title even if it occupies less than a third of the full title – where you clarify whose runner’s world you refer too!

They also made it clear that if I didn’t change that I would be hearing from someone soon… “and it wouldn’t be them”. But, when confronted with my objections to veiled threats, they said it was nothing of the sort. Nice. Right. I certainly have a choice. But, conflict in a losing fianacial resource battle with corporate minions is not my style.

I like making people’s days. I must have made theirs now that I’ve changed to “The Running World According to Dean”. I even put my face in the header so they couldn’t “confuse me” with anyone of their coworkers.

Upward and onward!

Coach Dean

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About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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7 Responses to Forced Blog Name Change

  1. david says:

    As a journalist, I must say this is ridiculous, and I can’t believe I applied for a job there once. Despite the trademark on the magazine, I find it hard to believe they could own the term “runner’s world.” I could see the issue with it being uppercase or if you used their font, but I think in court they’d actually have a hard time winning that case. But us average people out here probably can’t afford to go to court with that company, nor would we have the time. That all being said, I like your subtle change and I know there’s nothing they can do about that.

  2. Rob Nichols says:

    Wow – you must be writing some pretty good stuff for them to be so worried! I think it would be very hard for anyone to confuse your blog with the mag. I agree with David – I think they would have hard a hard time prevailing in court.

    All that being said, I think I like the new title better 🙂

  3. jim says:

    that is the funniest thing I have read in a long time..by the way…putting your picture in your blog is NOT going to help your readership…can people cancel a blog?

  4. Gerald says:

    Now I can’t resist – even though it comes a little late – mentioning that a big food company in Germany tried to snatch the domain name “kinder” away from the person who had registered it.
    You see, Kinder in German means children, and that company has a “K… Schokolade” (“children’s chocolate”) as a registered trademark – the judge suggested they take a hike, for most people would still think of young human beings and not their trademark when they heard the word 😉

  5. Bob says:

    Coach Dean, your website is fantastic. Thanks for cutting through the chaff and getting to the science of running. With regards to the blog change, I’m sure you’re familiar with Dean Karnazes, the author and ultra runner. Unfortunately readers (e.g. RW publication editors) might confuse you with him, so you should change the name of your blog yet again. Might I suggest, “The Running World According to the Coach Formally Known as Dean”. It makes as much sense as the first change imposed by the Rodale boys.

  6. You’re funny. Actually since then, it’s been interesting. RW folks have been reading my blog regularly. Even had comments contributed by Amby Burfoot.

  7. I’m aghast! This is 800lbgorillaism at its worst. I have visions of Il Capo di tutti capi in a running leotard wagging a gatorade in your direction threatening to spike your energy bars…

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