Citing New gTLD’s Forbes Asks: Did MLB Overpay For Rockies.com?

Forbes.com just published an article asking “Did MLB Overpay By Spending $1.2 Million For Rockies.com?”

“All it took was $1.2 million dollars for Major League Baseball (MLB) to purchase the domain name Rockies.com, a URL that was formerly owned by the Canadian tourism portal Tourism Canadian Rockies.  ”

“The ownership of a professional sports franchise’s name as a URL is a very valuable commodity that is often squandered.  For instance, the Brooklyn Nets does not own the website Nets.com and Cowboys.com is not an owned property of the Dallas Cowboys.  In October 2012, I reported that the current owner of Nets.com has asked for $5 million in exchange for a transfer of the domain to the Brooklyn Nets, which is a number that Nets management will not consider.  For $1.2 million, the price that MLB paid for Rockies.com, the NBA and the Nets may have to reconsider.”

 

“But at least one authority believes that purchases like the $1.2 million for Rockies.com could be a thing of the past when leagues are no longer forced to rely on .COM domain names and can instead use their own domain extensions like .BASEBALL to make it easier for fans to access MLB affiliated websites and allow the clubs and league to truly own their brands/marks”.

The article quotes  Jeremiah Johnston, General Counsel for Sedo.com as saying:

”It is definitely going to be a changing Internet landscape once gTLDs are introduced,” said .  ”If you have a great generic like .BASEBALL available, there will be a lot of value because consumers will know what they are getting when they travel there.  A lot of the extensions that have been applied for are mixed between open (once open, the public can get it when available) and sponsored extensions, which is more like .MLB – managed by a group that meets certain requirements.”

The article point out that in addition to Major Legue Baseball, Donuts also applied to operate .Baseball.

“On the surface, it would appear that MLB should easily be granted the .BASEBALL gTLD over Silver Pass (Donuts), but Johnston is not so sure.  ”I think the people behind Donuts Inc. intend to make a lot of these extensions available to the public,” said Johnston.  ”For instance, I would be able to purchase Jeremiah.BASEBALL under Silver Pass’ plan.  However, MLB would want .BASEBALL to be closed, particularly to its member clubs.  ICANN is looking at the public interest and people are able to file complaints based on public interest.  ICANN may very well give [.BASEBALL] to the company willing to open it up to the public.”

Comments

  1. says

    I guess that would establish the value of Cowboys.com being worth somewhere between $1.2MM on the very low end and $5MM today and just like salaries, who knows what the value will be in another 1, 2 or 3 years as we move into this new orbit. The more comparisons, the more you can demonstrate value.

  2. says

    in the future there will be no domains at all. people will simply type in their ipv6
    numeric address such as 223.98.41.76.331.93 and go directly to the site they want.
    i predict the people who have memorized pi to the ten thousandth decimal place will rule the world.

  3. BrianWick says

    It seems to me years ago – like in the late 90′s – i was talking to a guy about a domain or court case and then he switched subjects to the baseball team / mlb had been making threats to him for the rockies.com domain – and that the denver broncos were making threats to someone he knew that had broncos.com

  4. jose says

    so, let me see.

    .travel, .pro and the likes failed to attract people and “there will be a lot of value because consumers will know what they are getting when they travel there”. so BrooklynNets.BASEBALL would bring a lot of value comparing to what they have today. humm… ok.

    so, people NEVER adhere to the “right of the dot” but will now because the extensions are prettier? cute?

  5. says

    Reality = Rockies.com sells for $1.2 million.

    Conjecture = ”If you have a great generic like .BASEBALL available, there will be a lot of value because consumers will know what they are getting when they travel there.”

  6. says

    “The more comparisons, the more you can demonstrate value.”

    Unless you are buying a domain to resell it what does it matter what other domains sell for? The value is demonstrated by what the domain can do for the customer (branding, visitors, etc.). Comparing prices to those Internet sales reports with many fake numbers is not a good measure from the customer perspective.

  7. says

    Perhaps Forbes should have reported how The Dallas Cowboys once bid on Cowboys.com (now a much more appropriate site) in an auction and lost it to folks much smarter than they are…. ;)

  8. says

    Humm, I registered these two domains for the development tourism-related sites when we move into more immersive web technology. Wonder though, if this sale could impact their value: Rockies3D.com and 3DRockies.com?

  9. BrianWick says

    Cowboys.com – Just another thing not to talk about in the board meeting in front of jerry jones. :)

    All the girls with the plastic tits wont fix it either – when his heirs off load the asset – or shares.

  10. says

    Hmm, I wonder, what is the value of a domain name when there
    is only ONE big-spending entity that it could apply to?

    (i.e. such as in the Cowboys.com/Dallas Cowboys example).

    Is it STILL worth millions if that entity decides they don’t want or
    need the name?… I don’t think it will be, and if DC said no to the
    name then Cowboys.com would probably be ‘worth’ 10-50 times
    less than you hoped it might sell for…

  11. says

    @monte

    “in an auction and lost it to folks much smarter than they are…. ”

    Commenting that THEY were not very smart because YOU were unable
    to communicate effectively with them is, in itself, not too smart…

    Plainly, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t NEED the domain, they just wanted it.

    As for the folks who you claim were the smart ones. Well, if it’s the same
    people owning it today, then THEY weren’t that smart after all. Because
    a quick look at Cowboys.com today and I see nothing more than an adult
    dating ‘template’ site for gays – something that would cost nothing to set
    up and would take minutes to construct.

    Was THIS their big development idea when they bought at auction? I very
    much doubt it (!) and if I know ‘domainers’ like I think I do then, after their
    purchase, they wouldv’e been hoping to extract top dollar from DC at some
    point down the line.

    Could DC have been made to WANT the name at auction ‘though… even at a
    very high price… and in spite of the fact that THEY were the only logical
    big-spending buyer in view?

    Yes.

    But it didn’t turn out that way. No worries. No one is to blame really, but
    remarking that THEY are somehow dumb, simply because they didn’t trust
    or understand what YOU were saying is just childish.

  12. says

    So what do you think happens?

    A Cowboys fan desperately looking for information doesn’t start at NFL.com, doesn’t start at Google, doesn’t start with Dallas Cowboys (the most obvious choice) and decides to type Cowboys.com instead. Rather than determine that the site is not what they expected they stay and try to get a date ?

    And then what? They don’t remember this next time?

    I don’t think it’s that valuable to them. They’re a multibillion company that no one has a hard time finding online, or otherwise.

  13. says

    @unknown

    I agree, they didn’t need it and I think the days of the domain name “pumper”
    are over. Times are changing, and companies are ‘getting wise’, and are now
    far less likely to believe the dot-com hype, from those who have a vested interest
    in it, or who are outside of the established Marketing industry and offer advice.

  14. BrianWick says

    “Times are changing, and companies are ‘getting wise’, and are now
    far less likely to believe the dot-com hype,”

    Is “dot-com hype” the new word for what the UDRP Panels, ACPA and Federal Courts have programmed into the consumer’s brain for 20+ years – .com is the only one on the shelf.

    Times are not changing mr ri.sk hack – you are just desparate friend :)

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