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Why did you call it Hoop?

4 April 2016

We’ve been asked a few times why we named the app Hoop. People typically like the name, but why we chose to call it Hoop leaves them wondering.

We’d known from the beginning that we wanted the app to feel playful. We wanted it to evoke the fun of childhood and the pleasure you get from spending time with little ones. Equally we didn’t want people to think that this was something for kids, it’s an app that will be used by adults after all.

After what seemed liked weeks of adding names to our growing ‘no pile’ one afternoon we started talking about kids games. Given our brief it felt like games were a great area to explore, particularly those we enjoyed playing as kids. We found lists of them online and were happily working our way down until someone (we’re still unsure who) got to the Hula Hoop.

It turned out that the Hula Hoop was popularised by the rather wonderful Richard Knerr an American Inventor who’s Wham-O company, as well as championing every child’s favourite circle, also introduced the world to the Frisbee, Silly String, the Hacky Sack and the Slip’N Slide. We were awe struck.

Richard Knerr, right, with Wham-O co-founder Arthur Melin

Obviously we couldn’t call the app Hula Hoop but “what about just Hoop?”

And there it was!

It was short, so with any luck easy to remember, plus it definitely ticked the fun and playful box. And hoops — which we think of as cooler circles — are beautiful, naturally occurring shapes that provide a wonderful canvas for branding and design.

And so there you have it: simple; fun; and part homage to a classic kids game. Throw in a touch of luck and you’ve got the story of why we named it Hoop — what’s on for your kids.

You can read the New York Times’ obituary for Richard Knerr here. He passed away in January 2008.

Find fun, healthy activities for kids on the Hoop app