Brands are constantly juggling different platforms to reach different demographics. Print, TV, and digital platforms are all part of an ever-changing formula for the attention – and buy-in – of customers. Between conceiving of different ideas and then coordinating them, the job of delivering a brand’s message is far more complicated than it was 20 years ago.

Sports marketing involves juggling different platforms to reach different demographics. Print, TV, and digital platforms are all part of an ever-changing formula for the attention – and buy-in – of customers. Between conceiving of different ideas and then coordinating them, the job of delivering a brand’s message is far more complicated than it was 20 years ago.

Some brands have stepped up to the challenge of sports marketing by sponsoring sports events and arenas. And, as with any product launch, venue sponsorship should be supported by key domain name registrations to grab online traffic.

A Growing Trend in Sports Marketing: Branding a Venue

As the Seattle Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos on Super bowl Sunday, MetLife was reaping the game-day rewards of its venue sponsorship:

  • TV exposure in shots of the stadium
  • Tagged photos
  • Countless press hits, and
  • Endless social media mentions

Leading up to game-day, the website “metlifestadium.com” was drawing tens of thousands of visitors a month looking for information, which means tens of thousands of visitors a month exposed to the MetLife brand. Their sports marketing strategy was not just successful from a venue-branding point of view but helped positively impact MetLife’s overall online/digital brand strategy.

Now, as the world watches the always eagerly anticipated Olympics, 10 Worldwide Olympic Partners are also expecting massive branding success.

Is Sports Marketing’s Branded Venues Translating to Online Real Estate?

Intrigued to see how brands are translating sports marketing sponsorships to online real estate, FairWinds paired each Fortune 100 brand with each of eight terms in the .COM top-level domain (TLD):

  • arena
  • center
  • classic
  • cup
  • field
  • park
  • stadium, and
  • tournament

We then searched those 800 domain names to find out:

  • How many were registered by brands
  • How many were registered by third parties
  • How many were available, and
  • How the registered domain names were used.

FairWinds also looked at the combination “BrandOlympics.com” for the 10 Worldwide Partners of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

It turns out brands are underrepresented in the sports-venue domain name space:

  • Only 8% of the domain names examined are owned by their corresponding brands, with 74% of the examined domain names still available for registration
  • Of the 10 Worldwide Olympic Partners, only 1 is using a “BrandOlympics.com” combination, and 4 Olympic sponsors don’t even own their own BrandOlympics.com

Read the full report here.

Protecting Your Online Turf in “Legacy” and “New” gTLDs

Brands thinking about incorporating a sports arena sponsorship into their sports marketing strategy would do well to lock down their domain names way in advance of a launch. Citigroup learned this the hard way when it had to spend time and money reclaiming CitiField.com through the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Given the uncertainty of whether Internet users will search for these venues in any of the .BRAND new generic top-level domains – typing “stadium.metlife” rather than “metlifestadium.com” into the address bar, for example – makes this group of eight combinations a finite resource for brand owners.

Even as other, open gTLDs hit advertisements and Internet browsers this year, none of the eight terms examined here will be among the new options.

The new gTLD “.SPORTS “was recently barred from launching. As a result, this further reduces any new combinations for sponsors to create creative new venue domain names as part of their sports marketing strategy.

While new gTLDs hold many opportunities for brand owners and Internet users, brands should take a serious look at brand-venue and brand-Olympics combinations in .COM, as they look for potential sponsorships moving forward.

 

Josh Bourne

Josh Bourne

Managing Partner at FairWinds Partners
A Managing Partner for the business, Josh draws on his experience with brands and blogs on business solutions for the domain name space.
Josh Bourne
Improving Your Sports Marketing With the Right Domain Names

One thought on “Improving Your Sports Marketing With the Right Domain Names

  • February 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm
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    The domain name METLIFESTADIUM.COM also was recovered through a UDRP. The Respondent had registered the domain name, along with other domains containing PEPSI and TIMEX, shortly after the press release for the New Meadowlands complex’s various naming rights agreements. Another domain name, STATEFARMCENTER.COM, was recovered via UDRP when State Farm, a prolific filer of UDRPs, failed to register the name prior to its press release for its naming rights to the University of Illinois’ Assembly Hall.

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