The franchise was originally going to be called the Honolulu Warriors, but a local team had trademarked that name. As a result, the team was known simply as "The Hawaiians", although the press frequently mistakenly called them the "Honolulu Hawaiians" or the "Hawaii Hawaiians." They were owned by real estate developer Christopher Hemmeter for the first season. He was named league president in 1975, and sold the Hawaiians to jewel merchant Edward Sultan, Jr.
To keep the NFL out of Hawaii, the WFL had the Hawaiians play their games on Sundays, while the rest of the league played (mostly) on Wednesday nights. This resulted in confusion, since one team played a different schedule from the rest of the league, and teams had to fly back to the mainland Sunday night to play again on Wednesday night. The franchise also made the mistake of allowing a same-day tape delay of their home games, meaning many Hawaiians' fans would watch the game on TV later on that day. (As a result, the Hawaiians drew just 13,031 fans per game, ahead of only New York and Detroit, neither of which finished the season.) Eventually, the Hawaiians switched to playing on Wednesday nights.
Even with these missteps, the Hawaiians represented a serious attempt to form a viable professional football organization, one that at least had the potential for success had the WFL been better run. They were one of only three teams that did not miss a payroll during the league's first season. (False accounts had said some players released from the team could not afford to get to the mainland.) Hemmeter and his original partner, Sam Battisone (who also owned the NBA's New Orleans Jazz) were among the few owners thought to be capable of fielding a team in 1975.
It was the first and, to date, only major professional American football team to establish its home base outside the contiguous 48 states. (This excludes the Pro Bowl teams, which have called Hawaii home from 1980 to 2009 and again in 2011, 2012 and 2016.)