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Olympic-backed .sport bidder looking for partners

Kevin Murphy, September 2, 2011, 10:51:04 (UTC), Domain Registries

SportAccord, a worldwide coalition of sports federations with Olympic support, is looking for partners to help it with a possible .sport top-level domain bid.
In a request for proposals published today, the organization said it is looking not only for expertise and potential technical partners, but also financial backing:

The objective of SportAccord is to develop the best possible promotion of Sports Themed gTLDs by leveraging its unique relationship with its members, and to establish a usage policy that ensure respect of Sports key values.
SportAccord is therefore seeking to developing partnership with entities that could bring technical expertise and financial support to the common development of Sport themed gTLDs.

The 17-question RFP reveals that the organization has evidently done its homework.
Questions cover pertinent topics such as registrar integration, trademark protection, premium name monetization, and how to beat the ICANN threshold score for community-based applications.
The deadline for replying is September 30.
SportAccord, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is an umbrella group comprising the international federations for over 100 sports, covering everything from football to tug of war.
The RFP states that the International Olympic Committee supports its gTLD initiative.
That’s an endorsement that may prove the deal-breaker for any .sport application. The IOC has been a vigorous defender of its rights in the new gTLD program.
Its lobbying efforts most recently compelled ICANN to build special protection for Olympic trademarks into the Applicant Guidebook itself (as well as lumbering the GNSO and ICANN staff with a bunch of unnecessary policy-development work).
Two other organizations have previously announced .sport applications
The loudest, Ron Andruff’s DotSport LLC, had appointed some of SportAccord’s member federations to its policy advisory council.
But SportAccord says in its RFP that “neither SportAccord nor any of its Members have made any commitment to support or participate in any sport themed gTLD.”
It looks like we may be looking at yet another push of the reset button on a well-lobbied gTLD.
The SportAccord RFP can be downloaded here.

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Comments (5)

  1. M says:

    “It looks like we may be looking at yet another push of the reset button on a well-lobbied gTLD.”
    The competition has high expectations: “We cannot accept ICANN approving any applications for top-level domains that could diminish the solidarity implied with .SPORT.”
    What other new gTLD’s have 2 or more interested groups that expressed they’re interest publicly at this point?
    likely many more will be added to that ‘reset button’ list by Jan 12.

  2. JM says:

    M’s comment misses the point that instead of hitting ‘reset’, what’s happening is communities are coalescing around a particular, more robust, community bid as over time it becomes clear which is most committed to representing their community’s interests. ECO, SPORT and GAY have all been through this evolution.
    The more interesting story here may be that ICANN is doing something truly innovative by providing a community option for TLDs.
    Despite naysaying, sceptics, and worries about scoring and objections, communities are standing up for strings they believe represent them.

  3. Jacob says:

    Our community is increasingly united around a community .ECO bid. It’s stronger every day. Not sure what M is on about but that’s a pretty old article.

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