One of the companies that intends to apply for the .sport top-level domain has written to ICANN, begging that it does not approve any TLDs for individual sports.
dotSport’s Policy Advisory Committee, which appears to think it already has rights in the .sport string, said ICANN should respect “sport solidarity”.
In other words, please don’t allow .tennis or .golf to be approved.
The company wrote:
The PAC members reiterate our concern that ICANN may be prematurely entertaining a process that will allow proliferation of names in sub-categories or individual sports, which will lead to a number of detrimental effects
The detrimental effects, referenced in this letter last August, basically boil down to the potential for user confusion and the need for defensive registrations by sports teams and personalities.
You could apply the same arguments to pretty much any potential new TLD – what would .music mean for the .hiphop community?
The dotSport PAC is filled with high-level appointees from more than half a dozen sports federations, representing sports from basketball to rugby to archery, so its views are far from irrelevant.
Its position appears to be that the DNS hierarchy should be used for taxonomic purposes, at least when it comes to sports.
It’s an argument that was floated all the way back in the 2000 round of TLD applications, and probably before.
Purely from a marketing point of view, it seems like a self-defeating objective to mandate the use of www.example.hockey.sport when www.example.hockey is an option.
The main example of such a mandatory multi-level taxonomy, the old-style .us ccTLD, was a spectacular commercial failure.
Could it be that dotSport wants to be the registry for all .sports for the price of one? It certainly appears that way.