What's in a corporate name? Frontier Horizon, a transcontinental airline, says it is worth two lifetime airplane tickets.
Frontier Horizon, founded in January 1984, was recently sued over its name by Horizon Air of Seattle, an older firm. An out-of-court agreement was reached whereby Frontier Horizon must find a different name by April 1, 1985. The airline has taken its dilemma to the public: It will give two free life passes on Frontier Horizon and its sister airline, Frontier Airlines Inc., to the person who submits the name the company chooses.
The contest is open to everyone except employees of Frontier's parent company, Frontier Holdings Inc., and their relatives. Contestants who suggest identical winning names must write a 10-word statement on why they think it is a good name; the best explanation breaks the tie. The new name will go into effect January 9, 1985.
The airline has been receiving several thousand entries a day from people around the country who want to participate in the contest. "It's not every day that the general public gets the chance to name a company," says Frontier Horizon spokesperson Ned Walker. "When we were sued by Horizon Air, we first saw it as something negative. But we decided to nip the litigation in the bud, and find a way to turn the problem into something positive.
"The contest has generated an unbelievable amount of free publicity," Walker continues. "It's fun, but there's also a lot at stake for both us and the contestants. The names of airlines tend to have high recognition with consumers. And imagine being able to fly around the country, whenever and wherever you want, for the rest of your life."
But that's not all, as they say on the TV game shows. Any travel agent working with Frontier Horizon who guesses the winning name wins a 1985 turbo-charged Chrysler Le Baron convertible. Again, a 10-word essay will be used in the event of a tie. And the airline's employees aren't completely locked out of the action, either. The employee who comes closest to guessing the total number of names submitted wins a week-long trip for two, all expenses paid, on a cruise ship. The folks at Frontier Horizon like to live high.