The new .club gTLD went into the top 10 new gTLDs by volume in the “first instants” of general availability this afternoon, according to the registry and partner Go Daddy.
.CLUB Domains CEO Colin Campbell told DI, about two hours after the 1500 UTC GA launch, “We’ll let the zone files speak for themselves, but we were well within the top 10 a few minutes after we opened up.”
Based on today’s zone file data, that means .club moved at least 15,000 names. It will presumably be a somewhat bigger number by the time today’s zones are published at 0100 UTC.
.CLUB CMO Jeff Sass said that pre-registrations at registrars including Go Daddy were responsible for the initial spike.
“We would be in the top 10 based just on those pre-registrations in the first instant,” he said.
While over 50 registrars are signed up to sell .club, the registry is pretty tight with Go Daddy.
The two companies have been conducting joint marketing, some of which involved .CLUB pushing buyers to GoDaddy.club.
“We’ve worked closely on cooperative marketing efforts,” Sass said. “We’ve done a lot of campaigns where the call to action has been to Go Daddy.”
The GA launch, which was briefly webcast live, actually came from Go Daddy’s Arizona headquarters.
While I get the distinct impression that money changed hands in order for Go Daddy to throw its weight behind .club, VP Mike McLaughlin gave some reasons why he likes the gTLD.
“We like to see that the registry is invested,” he said. “That the business plan isn’t just to put it out there and hope for the best.”
Sass said that .CLUB has been marketing to nightclubs, sports clubs, high-end members clubs and others.
McLaughlin said the price point — $14.99 retail, the same as Go Daddy’s .com renewals — and the fact that there are no registration restrictions, were attractive.
.CLUB has reserved over 6,000 premium names. They’re all listed for sale at Sedo, perhaps showing that its relationship with rival auction platform Go Daddy/Afternic is not all that tight.
If you try to register a premium .club via Go Daddy today you’ll be told it’s unavailable.
Sass said that examples of premiums already sold to anchor tenants include shaving.club, which is launching today, as well as beauty.club, makeup.club and skincare.club, which were all sold to Mary Kay Cosmetics and are expected to launch at a later date.
.CLUB has previously predicted that it would beat .guru (currently at 54,616 names) in the first week and that it would sell five million names in the first five years.
The first aspiration seemed, to me, plausible. I’ve had countless arguments about whether the second is too.