I was checking out some Wilier bikes on the net, when I came across this little piece of info:
"Wilier is an acronym. W is an abbreviation for the word Viva, which means "Long live", beginning the phrase: W l'Italia liberata e redenta - Long live Italy, liberated and redeemed."
Wilier did sound like a slightly un-Italian name to me, and now I know why.
There are other well-known cycling equipment manufactuers that use acronyms, or some play on the names of the founders/owners. The ones I've come across include:
Gaerne - Ernesto Gazzola
SIDI - Dino Signori
MAVIC - Manufacture d'Articles Vélocipédiques Idoux et Chanel
From the wider sporting world, probably the most famous ones are:
Adidas - named after Adi (Adolph) Dassler. He and his brother Rudolph owned a sports shoe manufacturing company, but had a falling out. The two brothers set up rival companies. Rudolph called his company Ruda, which later became Puma.
ASICS - an acronym derived from the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano - a sound mind in a sound body.