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Orange sponsors ICANN 42

Kevin Murphy, October 19, 2011, Domain Policy

The telecoms firm Orange has become a platinum sponsor of ICANN’s 42nd public meeting in Dakar, Senegal next week.
It’s a rare example of a company from outside the domain name industry handing over the big bucks to associate itself with ICANN.
While the company says it’s doing it for branding purposes, I’m sure it’s likely to set tongues wagging that Orange is a potential candidate for a .brand top-level domain.
If .apple is the no-brainer that is constantly used in articles to illustrate what a .brand is – and to highlight possible contention/objection issues – then .orange surely falls into the same category.
Platinum sponsorship for the Dakar meeting, which kicks off at the weekend, starts at $75,000. There are no takers for any of the other more-expensive sponsorship tiers this time.
Others paying up at this level are VeriSign, as usual, and the Public Interest Registry, which is publicizing its .ngo (non-governmental organizations) gTLD application.