The International Rugby Board has applied to ICANN for the generic top-level domain .rugby with Top Level Domain Holdings, the IRB announced today.
It appears to be a defensive as well as offensive move, judging by the press release.
It’s about “protecting and promoting Rugby’s values and ethos” and ensuring .rugby “resides within the sport”, according to IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
The application will be filed in partnership with TLDH, as well as a new company called ROAR Domains, which appears to be a part of a Kiwi sports marketing agency.
If the bid is successful, TLDH subsidiary Minds + Machines will provide the registry back-end.
The IRB is the international body for rugby associations which organizes the Rugby World Cup.
There are already a few .sport bids, and the Australian Football League has applied for a .afl dot-brand, but I think .rugby may be the first sport-specific gTLD application to be announced.