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.”