Random Tuesday is announcing the rebranding and change to the programmatic structure for its oldest and largest charity fundraising and fitness community known as the Hogwarts Running Club. While changes will gradually occur over the next several weeks, effective 1 January 2019, Hogwarts Running Club (HRC) will be permanently re-named as the Potterhead Running Club (PHRC). Furthermore, all of RTI’s running clubs will become part of a pantheon collectively known as “Fanthropy Running Programs“. Fanthropy is the intersection of fandom, physical fitness and philanthropic efforts.
We are committed to this change to best serve our established online community of 65,000+ fans of the ‘Harry Potter’ book and film series, self-identified as ‘Potterheads’, and together serve our mission to promote personal fitness while supporting charitable organizations as a fandom-centric community.
This change is happening for three primary reasons:
- We are Potterheads. Plain and simple. So, renaming HRC to Potterhead Running Club better focuses on our fandom rather than a physical, albeit awesome, fictional location in our beloved stories.
- We want to avoid any confusion whatsoever between our fandom-centric, non-profit activities and Warner Brothers. We are fans of Harry Potter and we support WB’s official programs and products. We don’t want to compete with WB or make anyone think that WB is involved with us or our programs. Although we’ve always been clear about that in the past, this rebranding sends a loud and clear message that we are a group of Potterheads—fans—and that our work is an unofficial fan endeavor.
- We want to properly align all of RTI’s running clubs under a single “umbrella” known as Fanthropy to highlight the fact that we are fandom-centric group committed to making a positive change in the world.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
We know you are going to have a lot of questions as to the reasons for this change and how this change will impact you.
QUESTION #1: Did WB make us to change our name?
ANSWER #1: In a word: No. We never want to get to the stage where WB has to “make us” do anything! We chose our new name because it best represents who we are and because we want to make sure that stays true. This is a voluntary change to emphasize that we are a fandom-based non-profit. Warner Brothers has been very pro-active about its trademarks, including with fan groups. We never want to put our charitable work and community at risk. Seeing what has happened with festivals is part of our motivation — and we are excited about the direction it has taken us.
QUESTION #2: Does this mean we never had permission to use Hogwarts?
ANSWER #2: We’ve always made clear that that we are not associated with Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J.K. Rowling and her representatives. We’ve never asked for Warner Brothers’ endorsement. While we’ve always supported the world of stories and products that Warner Brothers has created, we’ve always operated on our own and have never asked for their involvement in our community or work. Trademark law isn’t about owning all uses of particular words, it’s about preventing consumer confusion, and we’ve always sought to avoid confusion. One of the goals of this re-naming is to do even more to avoid confusion by using a word that refers to all Harry Potter fans.
QUESTION #3: What is Fanthropy?
ANSWER #3: The concept of Fanthropy is simple. It’s “Fandom” plus “Philanthropy.” Fanthropy will become RTI’s sole program for fandom-focused virtual running clubs. We will attend conventions as Fanthropy and keep everything under this umbrella. If RTI decides to do a non-fitness, but still fandom-related charitable endeavor in the future, that will be a separate program.
QUESTION #4: What changes will we see?
ANSWER #4: Over the coming weeks you’ll see changes to our website, social media profiles, logos, graphics, communications and correspondence. You will see those visual and naming updates within our closed group communities like the Great Hall and Common Rooms. You will NOT see changes to our operations. We will continue the same number and type of events, medals will still be mailed, the online communities will continue to be amazing, and miles will still be logged to advance your physical fitness goals. We will simply do so as Potterhead Running Club.
QUESTION #5: What about the HRC gear (event shirts, Horizont Alley stuff, etc) I have? Can I still wear it?
ANSWER #5: We’re proud of everything the HRC has done and we hope you are too! Everything you got in the past shows that pride, and we think they’re just as cool as they’ve always been. (And now, they’re collectors’ items, too!) PLEASE continue to wear your HRC shirts, hats and hoodies! We are going to redirect our current URL to the new PHRC website, so you can still wear your billboard shirts and event shirts and people won’t end up at a dead link. That said, make sure you talk about Potterhead Running Club whenever you can!
QUESTION #6: What will change with Horizont Alley? Are there going to be new Potterhead shirts? What happens to all of the old HRC stuff?
ANSWER #6: We will be introducing new items that reflect the name change and new items for ALL clubs with new logos and reflect the Fanthropy concept after January 1st. And we are going to try to clear out as much HRC stuff as possible so we can change over to talking about PHRC in the new year! To that end, all items on Horizont Alley are going on sale immediately. Everyone using the code SOMUCHGOOD will get 30% off their entire order. This will continue until November 20th, when we update the code to be worth 50% off! You can chose to wait until the bigger discount, but the item/size you want may be sold out and we are not restocking any items.
QUESTION #7: How will this impact Regional Groups?
ANSWER #7: All 100+ HRC Regional Groups will be renamed as Fanthropy Regional Groups so participants from all of RTI’s Fanthropy Running Programs can come together for their geographic area. Potterheads, Whovians, Chiltonians, and members of all fandoms will be welcome in the regional groups.
ANSWER #8: Very little. WRC and CRC will continue mostly unaffected. WRC and CRC will now be part of Fanthropy and have new logos. It’s likely you’ll see some new/updated items at some point in the new year, so the Horizont Alley discount applies to all of the WRC and/or CRC merch as well!
In closing, Keep Calm and Carry On! We will continue to run our programs the same way under the new structure and naming convention. We’ll run the same event schedule, enjoy our houses and faculty groups, treasure our online and real-world friendships, compete in extra fun like the House Cup, Racery, and Charity Miles, enjoy the fandom in exactly the same way, and subject you all to the same weird sense of humor.
Thank you for your support as we continue to harness the power of fandom to change the world…one mile at a time.