New hires at Donuts, DomainDiction and 101domain

Kevin Murphy, March 14, 2013, Domain Services

It’s been a busy week in the industry for executive switcheroos, with Donuts, DomainDiction and 101domain all announcing senior-level hires.

Today it emerged that Elaine Pruis, a long-time key member of the Minds + Machines team, has jumped to rival new gTLD applicant Donuts, where she’s now director of operations.

That’s quite a surprising move, coming so soon before gTLDs start getting delegated and — perhaps more importantly — contention set resolution deadlines start closing in.

DomainDiction, the gTLD-focused PR agency, has meanwhile lost one top expert and gained two others.

Pinky Brand, an alum of .mobi, Verisign and Iron Mountain, has gone solo, launching his own consulting business under the name [ PINKY ] • BRAND.

Former NetNames strategy director Stephane Van Gelder, an occasional DI guest poster, has been brought on as lobbyist and copywriter, while IP lawyer Bart Lieben has been hired for his considerable expertise in sunrise periods.

Neither man is on DomainDiction’s exclusive payroll, and continue to have other projects.

Finally, 101domain yesterday announced that it’s hired Joe Alagna as head of channel development. Alagna until recently worked in the registry world, as CentralNic’s general manager for North America.

Four action sports gTLDs fall off a cliff

Adrenaline TLD has confirmed that it no longer plans to apply to ICANN for the sport-themed top-level domains .surf, .skate, .bike and .board.

The news was implicit in the announcement from Starting Dot that it has partnered with Adrenaline for .ski earlier this week, but the company today confirmed as much.

In a statement this morning, Adrenaline’s Rob Rozicki said:

Although we are not filing applications for the remaining four TLD’s in this application window we will investigate bringing them to the market in the next round of applications. However if you are an applicant for any of our other TLD’s please contact us to see how we can work together to help the action sports community.

Rozicki is also working with Starting Dot’s marketing agency, the newly formed DomainDicition, as head of North American online marketing.

The .ski project can be found at dot-ski.com. Its Twitter handle is @dot_ski.

Another contention battle confirmed as Starting Dot reveals five gTLD bids

Portfolio gTLD applicant Starting Dot is to apply to ICANN for five new generic top-level domains, catering mostly to vertical industries and professions.

The France-based company wants .archi, .bio, .design, .immo and .ski.

The first thing to note is that we now have another confirmed contention set – Starting Dot’s .immo application is not the same .immo announced by Nic.at a few weeks ago.

The word “immo” is apparently an abbreviation for “real estate” commonly used in Germany, France and Italy. The gTLD would be reserved for members of that sector.

The .archi gTLD would be reserved for certified architects. It’s backed by the International Architectural Union, a Paris-based umbrella trade group which represents over a million architects.

The .bio proposal, pitched at the food and agricultural industries, anticipates a semi-regulated namespace, while .design would be open to anyone with an interest in that topic.

For .ski, Starting Dot has partnered with Adrenaline TLD, which originally planned to file for five extreme sports gTLDs, on a joint-venture app.

As I blogged earlier today, Adrenaline founder Rob Rozicki now works for the new gTLD marketing firm DomainDiction, which seems to have signed Starting Dot as one of its first clients.

DomainDiction hires industry vets to market gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, May 21, 2012, Domain Services

DomainDiction, a new marketing company set up to help new generic top-level domain registries, officially launches today.

The largely European company, headed by France-based CEO Jennie-Marie Larsen, says it is “the first marketing consultancy dedicated solely to Top Level Domains”.

Larsen started off her career in the domain name industry at NeuStar, and was most recently chief marketing officer at the new gTLD business management firm Sedari.

Fellow industry veteran Pinky Brand, who helped launch .mobi and was revealed last week to have left registry manager Afilias, is DomainDiction’s new chief strategy officer.

Larsen said in a press release:

DomainDiction´s expertise is multi-channel, international domain marketing. By utilizing a wide range of marketing tools, we are able to offer innovative strategies and outreach programs across each phase from sunrise, landrush, to renewals. We leverage our close registrar channel relationships, international PR, online marketing, and complex SEO & PPC strategies to ensure success for each TLD.

Also on the team: John Kirkham (formerly with HostEurope), Tina Lord (former CMO of EasySpace), Henry Lewington (Barracuda Digital) and Christoph Hausel (whose agency, Element C, has previously worked for Afilias and NeuStar).

Rob Rozicki, who a couple of years ago made a lot of noise about applying for five sports-based gTLDs (.skate, .ski, .board, etc) is on board as head of North American online marketing.

While DomainDiction is certainly the first pure-play new gTLD marketing outfit that I can think of, the company will face competition from traditional PR firms and other gTLD consultancies.

Architelos, which made over a million dollars consulting with new gTLD applicants over the application period, recently launched its own marketing service, Velocity.

DomainDiction is set to launch this afternoon.