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An Article from yesterdays Huffington Post – Advises Sports Personalities to Own Their Domain Name.
Julio Fernandez writes the article posted Five Tips for Athletes and Brands to Improve Their Online Profiles and number 1 top tip in the article is that sports personalities i.e. Athletes should Claim your name if it is available.
We see it every few days that a company be it Apple, Dell, Amazon, Microsoft of others launch a product without securing their domain name but every sports person out there as soon as they start their career should be thinking to register a domain name, it only costs $8 from most domain registers and for that price it is nothing when you are building a brand.
You might not think about it now but Sports Celebrities are brands look at Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Andy Murray, Serena Williams and many others these sports persons have huge endorsement deals paying them millions each year, It’s all about the brand.
Do read the article but the two main points I feel are point 1 and point 4.
1) Claim your name if it is available
It looks like Gabby’s family or agent were able to register GabrielleDouglas.comback in March of 2010 but the site needs some work and love! GabbyDouglas.com has a “site currently unavailable” message but was registered five months ago, on March 2012.
To avoid getting a second party to intercept traffic that should come to you, register nick names and typos, but have one central domain that you want the search engines to see as the official site and add to the other domains what we call in search engine optimization a “permanent redirect” taking users to the main domain. One of my former clients incorporated this strategy during the London 2012 Olympic Games with their site BPUSAatheles.com (two As) that redirects to their main site BPusathletes.com (one A).
We talked about claiming and protecting your domain, sending the right signals and adding the proper tags to your site. But what if someone already has the name you want? In some cases, a person could have registered a domain and they no longer want it. Reach out to them and see if you can get it. There is an entire industry that buys domains for the purpose of reselling them. But sometimes it happens by accident. Back in 2004, Kerry Edwards said on CNN that he was offered $150,000 for his KerryEdwards.com domain but the John Kerry campaign for President of the United States did not buy the domain and kept their content under JohnKerry.com. This week we found out that RomneyRyan.comwas purchased back in February of 2010 and the owner would like to sell it for $10,000.
Many of us do not have the budget to go after the perfect domain, but if there is a trademark issue, you might be able to get it if:
- You can prove that the domain is confusing or similar to a trademark you have the right to,
- And you can prove that the other person does not have the rights or legitimate interest in that domain,
- And you have to prove that is has been used in bad faith.
Mr. Edwards has the right to the domain KerryEdwards.com since his name is Kerry Edwards. The person who registered RomneyRyan.com did it before we knew that Rep. Paul Ryan would be Mitt Romney’s VP pick, but did he do it in good or bad faith?
What about when Google goes after Oogle.com? According to ICANN, the organization that resolves these issues, Google did not prove that they should get Oogle.com. You can see the July 2012 decision here. But don’t feel bad for the search giant. They usually win, like they did with GoogleService.com back in July of 2011.
After you register the perfect domain, or buy it from a 3rd party, or get ICANN to let you have the one you really want, you should use the same easy to remember name for your other social accounts and vanity URLs. Twitter accounts can have up to 15 characters and it is probably the reason why Gabby went with @GabrielleDoug (13 characters) instead of @GabrielleDouglas (16 characters).
Stay away from underscores and numbers for your Twitter handle. I found a lot of athletes with accounts that are hard to type on mobile devices and hard to remember. Be consistent throughout your social channels including using the same profile photo if possible.
If the Twitter handle you want was registered by a different person but not in use, or if there is a trademark violation, you can work with Twitter to get the account back. About four years ago I was able to get back 24 different product names and trademarks for my client Adobe Systems, who at the time did not have control of some account like @Adobe or @Photoshop. It took several months of paperwork but at the end, Adobe was able to reclaim the accounts. On the other hand, when BP wanted to use @BP, they were not able to get it since there was no violation by the current user, a person with the initial B and P. The @BP user had a difficult time with his account since many people were sending him messages thinking he was associated with the company. BP also had the problem that a parody account was created and since more users were following the parody account and linking to it, for a while, the parody account was ranking higher than the real account BP has for their USA audience @BP_America. The lesson: protect your accounts now!
If you need to report a trademark violation or want to get a dormant Twitter account, visit the Twitter help Center page but remember that Twitter will not stop a parody account as long as the user can understand that it is a parody.
It is good to see national press like the Huffington Post – Have an article where it says Negotiate! – Look into do you have the rights for the domain or not?
I think this is key so many sportsman, celebs and corporations think they deserve to own a domain name when really they dont have any rights – It’s good to see Huff Post have a writer that knows what he is talking about when discussing domain names.