The Monster offices are bulging with excitement at the moment as New Generic Top Level Domains (New gTLDs) come closer and closer to being a reality!
We recently spoke with Jeff Sass, the chief marketing officer of .CLUB domains – a company set up specifically to apply for and administer .CLUB domain names. They’ve got a great vision for the future of the TLD.
We’ve even organised for Jeff to write a guest post for us! It’s a great read about the story of .CLUB so far and the future of the TLD.
One Company’s Pursuit of a The Perfect gTLD
“The word “club” is amazing. It is a global word that is spelled the same and means the same all over the world. It carries weight and authority – a “club” represents people coming together around a common interest or passion, whether that’s an established membership organization or a sports team, or a retailer’s loyalty program.”
These are all the things that jumped out at serial Internet entrepreneur Colin Campbell when he began studying the “new gTLD” space to consider investing in a gTLD application. As the founder of several Internet and domain businesses, Colin was drawn to the idea of becoming a registry and claiming a stake in the new gTLD landscape, so he began his due diligence. In the end, while most “players” in the new gTLD game have applied for a portfolio of multiple “strings,” Colin decided to focus all of his attention on just one: .CLUB.
From Auction To Action
The company Colin formed, .CLUB Domains, has since raised $8.2 million to apply for, obtain and operate the .CLUB registry. When the ICANN registrations closed and the applicants were announced there were three companies vying for .CLUB – .CLUB Domains, Donuts, and Merchant Law Group. Only one of them was singularly focused on obtaining .CLUB. After more than a year of fruitless manoeuvring and negotiations, the three .CLUB contenders finally agreed to participate in a private auction in June 2013 – the first private gTLD auction to be held – and .CLUB Domains prevailed, winning the auction, and becoming the sole applicant for .CLUB.
Since winning the auction, .CLUB Domains has grown, adding a sales and marketing team, General Counsel and more, as we gear up to launch .CLUB in Q1 2014. We see .CLUB as a mainstream global brand, with broad appeal. While there are literally millions of existing clubs and membership organizations, we see the opportunity for .CLUB domain names to be far wider than that. We see an opportunity for retailers to leverage .CLUB for their customer communities, loyalty and affinity programs, many of which already refer to themselves as “clubs.” Thanks to the connected, social world we live in, it is extremely easy for people to come together around a shared interest. Whether it is a group on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or Yahoo, .CLUB can provide a domain name that lets people take ownership of their tribes.
The Name Game
It is exciting to be a part of the industry that is reshaping the way the world will think about the Internet. Until now, so many businesses and individuals have had to choose their domain names and extensions based on what .com domain names were or were not available. Soon there will be no excuse to not have the ideal domain name, and a domain name that actually does a better job describing who and what you are than a .com does. Verticalized TLD’s like .CLUB, .Hotel, .Shop, etc, actually add inherent meaning and marketing value to the word(s) to the left of the dot.
Moving Outside The Fishbowl
Of course, there is still a lot to do and there are many challenges ahead for all of the new domain extensions. For one thing, those of us in the industry are living in a bit of a fishbowl, surrounded by gTLD’s. Unfortunately everyone outside the fishbowl is not nearly as aware of the changes coming to the Internet namespace. All of the new gTLD Registries face the marketing challenge of raising business and consumer awareness that there are new options when it comes to getting a domain name. We also need to spread awareness of the benefits of having a much broader base of domain extensions to choose from. There are many ways to choose a great domain extension for your business or brand, and it is important for us to help people recognize and understand the value of having a domain name with a well-targeted message to the right of the dot.
— by Jeff Sass, Chief Marketing Officer, .CLUB Domains, LLC.
So there you have it Monsters, an insight into a New gTLD application and the vision of one company for their New gTLD.
Do you think New gTLDs are the future of the Internet?
Which New gTLDs are you most looking forward to seeing?
How many New gTLDs will you register?
Let us know in the comments!